The Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association inducted five new members into the Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame at their Hall of Fame Banquet on March 28th at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. The new inductees included: Dale Lund, presented by Dean Jennissen; Gordy Morgan and John Morgan, presented by Marty Morgan; J Robinson, presented by Tim Manning; and Jeff Swenson presented by John Grygelko.
Also recognized at the banquet were MWCA Lifetime Achievement Winners and State Coaches of the Year. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Winners were: Bruce Bartels, Annandale-Maple Lake; Larry Stroh, Annandale-Maple Lake; Virg Vagle, Paynesville; and John Zurell, Delano. State Coaches of the Year were: Gary Hindt, Wabasso (Class A), Gregg Greeno, St. Michael-Albertville (Class AA), and Jim Jackson, Apple Valley (Class AAA). It was announced at the banquet that Greeno would be the Minnesota Head Coach nominee for the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Coach of the Year honors along with Steve Fuchs of Paynesville for Assistant Coach of the Year.
Short biographies of the new Hall of Fame inductees follows.
Dale Lund has been involved in wrestling for over 37 years in some capacity. He served as both the Head and Assistant Coach at Dassel-Cokato for 30 years. Previously Dale has coached at Dassel and at Comfrey. Dale retired from teaching and coaching in 1999, but has continued on as a volunteer assistant coach at D-C. He is well known for a positive promoter of wrestling, as well as encouraging youth to give wrestling a try.
Dale served as a MWCA Section Rep. for 12 years. He was named Section 5AA Assistant Coach ofthe Year three times. He served as MWCA President during the 1996-1997 season. Dale’s efforts to support the MWCA can be seen in his ability to single-handedly sell the MWCA pins year after year, helping his section to easily “outsell” the other 23!
Dale was instrumental in maintaining the high quality MN State Tournament format when there were many changes being made to all athletics by the Minnesota State High School League. Dale’s leadership of the MWCA allowed wrestling to maintain its three class system while continuing to bring all 24 teams into St. Paul to wrestle in a double elimination format.
Dale is married (Jeanne) and has 2 children, Casey and Calla.
Gordy was crowned as a 1985 State Champion representing Bloomington Kennedy High School. As a University of Minnesota Golden Gopher he was a 1989 Big Ten Champion, as well as earning Division I All-American honors. He was a three-time U.S. National Champion in 1991, 1993, and 1994. He earned a silver medal in the World Cup Wrestling Championships in 1991, and he placed 4th in 1989, 1990, and 1994. He was a U.S. Olympian in 1996 at Atlanta, Georgia, placing 9th. He and his wife Randa have six children: Ashleigh, Saray, Ben, Anna, Claire, and Olivia.
John was crowned as a 1981 State Champion representing Bloomington Kennedy High School. He earned All-American honors all four years at NDSU, serving as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. He was a three-time Greco-Roman U.S. National Champion in 1989, 1991, and 1992. He earned two silvers and a bronze in the World Cup Wrestling Championships from 1988-1990. He was a 1988 Olympian, placing 7th in Seoul Korea. He was an alternate on the 1992 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team. He currently resides in Lakewood, Colorado. He and his wife Susie had five children: Mike, Sarah, Janelle, Mark, and Rylan.
J Robinson began his 18th year as Head Coach of the University of Minnesota this fall. Since taking over in 1985 he has led his team to two National Championships (2001 and 2002) and three Big Ten Conference Championships. His coaching career began with Oklahoma State, and following a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1971-72 he began serving as an assistant at the University of Iowa from 1973-1983. He has coached four U.S. international wrestling teams (both Pan Am and Olympic) either as both an assistant and head coach. The basis for Robinson’s success comes from his ability to bring some of the greatest talent around the world to the University of Minnesota. He has landed the number one recruiting class in the nation several seasons. He is not only known for his coaching ability, but also for his ability to get involved with the promotion of wrestling at the state and national levels.
In the summer of 2000, J married the former Sue Rubens. They reside in Plymouth with J’s daughter, Jordan. J’s son Jeb is a student at the University of Iowa.
Jeff Swenson was a three-time All-American for Augsburg College from 1977-1979. He served as assistant under his mentor John Grygelko, then took over as Head Coach at Augsburg in 1981. Jeff’s plan of “improvmg 1 percent each day” has had a lasting impact on Augsburg Wrestling. The Auggies have set the standard in Division III, claiming eight national championships in the past 13 years. He has coached 133 All-Americans, including 31 national champions.
Jeff has provided an opportunity for Minnesota wrestlers to compete. He has opened the doors for the MN-Wisconsin All-Star Classic for years. He has helped to host the Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame Banquet the past few years.
MWCA HALL OF FAME SELECTION COMMITTEE
Steve Ricard (Chair), Bob Board, Mike Bredeck, James Campbell, Buzz Cummins, Bob Dettmer, Ken Droegemueller, Bob Board, Mike Bredeck, David Erickson, George Graff, Don Meyers, Dennis Roos, Darrell Sohn, Bill Sutter, and Spencer Yohe.
DAVID BARTELMA “FATHER OF MINNESOTA WRESTLING”
David C. Bartelma, or “Bart” as he was affectionately called by his wrestlers and known by wrestling fans, was largely responsible for the planting of the wrestling seed in Minnesota. Bart was a transplanted Iowan. He had spent a decade coaching wrestling in Iowa; first at Iowa Falls and then at Cresco where he also served as principal. He directed six undefeated teams and his 1933 and 1935 teams won the Iowa State High School Championships.
Bart joined the University of Minnesota Athletic Staff as the first full time wrestling coach in 1935. He nurtured the wrestling seed in Minnesota not only by profound wrestling knowledge, but also by his contagious enthusiasm and ability to convince others of the merits of this sport. In addition to these attributions, Bart worked indefatigably to popularize amateur wrestling. He staged the first high school wrestling tournament in 1937 (not sanctioned by the MSHSL). The first tournament was held at the University of Minnesota Field House with only eight weight classes (95#, 105#,125#, 135#, 145#,155#,165#, & Unlimited), Minneapolis Marshall was the first team champion. From the frst state tournament where only 13 schools participated to our present very successful state tournament where 260 schools support wrestling teams, wrestling has come a long ways. The success of Minnesota Wrestling is the direct result of the hard work and dedication fostered by David C. “Bart” Bartelma, “The Father of Minnesota Wrestling.”
(“Acorn To Mighty Oak”, by John Matlon, 1969.)