Eight inducted into the Bartelma Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame

Eight new members were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on April 5th, 2008 at the Willmar Holiday Inn in Willmar, Minn.

The new inductees honored were: Jim Axtell, Bill Farmer, Michael Farrell, Brian Gust, Terry Haws, Les Kertscher, Andy McCarty, and Chris Short. Many Hall of Fame members were in attendance.

Jake Deitchler of Anoka was honored as MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling.

The MWCA selected Jim Jackson of Apple Valley as State Head Coach of the Year. Selected as State Assistant Coach of the Year was Canby’s Gary Stoks.

Jackson and Stoks, along with Deitchler now represent Minnesota as The National Wrestling Coaches Association’s State award winners and may be selected for further honors at the Regional and National levels.

Six coaches were honored with Lifetime Achievement awards, given to coaches for their service to wrestling and long coaching careers. This year’s honorees were: Jay Johnson of Eden Valley-Watkins — 36 years, Tom Kuisle of Fairmont — 35 years, Maury Meyer of Albany — 35 years, Tony Olson of Mahnomen-Waubun — 34 years, and Bill Sutter of Goodhue — 39 years.


  • Jim Axtell, Athlete — presenter Kenneth Bergstedt
  • Bill Farmer, Coach/Contributor — presenter Mark Neu
  • Michael Farrell, Athlete — presenter Woody Ferry
  • Brian Gust, Athlete — presenter Dan Chandler
  • Terry Haws, Coach — presenter Dennis Kurtz
  • Les Kertscher, Coach — presenter Larry Mollins
  • Andy McCarty, Contributor — presenter Lyle Freudenberg
  • Chris Short, Athlete — presenter Will Short

Jim Axtell, Athlete

Jim Axtell graduated from Alexander Ramsey High School in 1967. While there he earned the Outstanding Senior Athlete Award, as well as achieving the honor of both a captain and an All-Conference athlete in football, wrestling, and baseball.

Jim attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1971. He was a three-year letterwinner, a Big Ten Champion, and an All-American (fourth place finish) in 1970. He was voted MVP his junior season.

Jim spent fifteen years with Athletes In Action, seven years as a competitor and eight years as Wrestling Team Director. While a competitor with AIA he traveled around the world competing and sharing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. As an administrator he started and oversaw team operations and AIA’s summer wrestling camps. He was an alternate on the 1973 World Greco-Roman team, and earned a bronze medal at the 1974 U.S. National Greco-Roman Championships. He won a silver medal at the Sambo Nationals in 1978 and was a PanAm Sambo Champion in 1978. After retiring from competitive wrestling, Jim began to officiate Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling. He officiated in many local, national and international meets, national championships and Olympic tryouts. He eventually achieved his international FILA level two license before he retired from officiating. He was chosen as Southern California Wrestling Man of the Year in 1979.

Today Jim resides in Monrovia, California and teaches at Rancho High School. He and his wife Val have two children, Jonathan and Christine.

Brian Gust-Athlete

Brian attended Canby High School, graduating in 1967. He then served in the United States Army Special Forces-Green Berets and achieved the rank of sergeant. Brian was the Engineer and Demolitions expert on his units HALO (high altitude low opening) Team, which was the Green Beret’s skydiving infiltration team.

Upon fulfilling his military obligation he returned to Minnesota and joined the Minnesota Wrestling Club. It was his international Greco-Roman wrestling career that brought his name to legendary status. Brian was a seven-time U.S. National Greco-Roman Champion, winning the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award twice. Brian represented the United States in two World Championships-1974 in Katowice, Poland, placing tenth, and 1977 in Goteborg, Sweden, placing seventh. In 1979 Brian won the gold medal at the Peer Gynt Cup in Oslo, Norway, the silver medal at the PanAm Games in San Juan, Purerto Rico, and placed fifth in the European Grand Prix held in Afchafenburg, Germany. This set the stage to making the 1980 Olympic Team that was unable to compete in Moscow due to the Olympic boycott by President Carter.

Brian had the honor of being inducted into the inaugural Canby, MN Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2007.

After his competitive years Brian has held head coach positions at Lakeville High School and First Baptist Schools in Rosemount, MN. He continues to give back to the sport what he believes God gave him. He has most recently been volunteering at Eagan High School with Coach Chad Gage.

Today Brian is president and founder of Olympic Colors, LLC and Olympic Outreach Ministries, Inc. He resides in Lakeville, MN with his wife Rae. He has four children-Meegan (Michael), Luke, Trevor (Jess), and Joel. Meegan also has three children-Makenna, Riley, and Titus.

Andy McCarty, Contributor

Andy McCarty attended Ortonville High School, graduating in 1950. He then attended Moorhead State, graduating in 1958. Andy received his Masters of Science in Education in 1963 from Moorhead State.

Andy coached in the Parkers Prairie Wrestling program from 1966-1970 and Park Rapids from 1971-1977. It was officiating, however, in which Andy gained the most notoriety and respect. He was the head official of the Region 6A tournament for at least twenty years. He officiated from 1971-1996, and he was selected to officiate in the MN State High School League Wrestling Tournament for over ten years. Andy will long be remembered for the positive impact he had on athletes and kids. Today Andy is retired and resides in Park Rapids, MN with his wife Karen. They have six children; Nye (Annie), Dan (Lisa), Pat, Amy (Pete), Ann (Neil), and Meg (Bryan). They have nineteen grandchildren.

Bill Farmer, Coach/Contributor

Bill’s association with wrestling began at Minneapolis West High School, which he graduated from in 1963. He was on the All-City Team in 1963, and a District 17 champion in 1962 and 1963. He continued his efforts in wrestling at Augsburg College, where he achieved a 24-25 record and was selected as captain in 1967. Bill graduated from Augsburg in 1968 with a Bachelors Degree in Art Education. He began teaching and coaching at Shakopee High School in 1968 and has either served as the head coach (1972-2001) or assistant coach (1968-1972 and 2001-present) ever since. Bill’s perseverance and dedication to Shakopee wrestling paid off when his team earned a berth in the 1981-1982 MN State Tournament, where they placed sixth. Farmer’s team returned to state in 1982-1983, and they placed second, losing only to Apple Valley. Farmer earned Region 2AA Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983. He was also named Minnesota’s State AA Coach of the Year in 1983. In addition, Bill has served as a Section Representative to the Minnesota Coaches Association. He has also served as a wrestling official in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Bill continues to coach in the Shakopee program today. He will long be remembered for his dedication to kids, and for refusing to quit when things got tough. He has a knack of bringing out the best in people. Bill resides in Shakopee with his wife Charlotte. They have three children; Aimee, Rachel, and Michael.

Michael Farrell, Athlete

Mike was a three-time place winner for Osseo High School, (third in 1983, third in 1984, and State Champion in 1985. His high school record was 121-16-2. He continued his winning ways in freestyle, placing fifth in Junior Nationals in 1984, and second in 1985. Mike earned a bronze medal at the World Espoir Championships in 1986. Mike wrestlied at Oklahoma State, where he was a three-time All-American – 1987 (fourth), 1988 (fifth), and 1989 (third). He has the second most wins in Oklahoma State history (129-40-1) with only John Smith ahead of him. He served as a two-time captain at Oklahoma State in 1988 and 1989, and he was a member of the 1989 National Championship team.

Mike was known for being a good citizen, a good student, and a leader. His aggressive style and dominance on the mat will long be remembered. Today Mike resides in Plymouth, MN where he is a business owner. His wife’s name is Sonja, and they have four children; Corbin, Brayden, Allana, and Ashlynn.

Terry Haws, Coach/Contributor (deceased)

Terry never wrestled. He learned the sport from The Navy Manual on Wrestling using his young wife Kathleen, as his “partner.” The family of ten children may have gotten its “inception” while Terry was learning riding techniques.

Terry served his country during WWII as an artillery forward observer in Europe after landing on Omaha Beach on June 11, 1944. Following the war, Terry completed his Science Education B.S. from Mankato State Teachers College and Guidance Counseling M.A. from Colorado State College in Fort Collins, CO.

Terry taught and coached at St. James High School from 1948-1958. He started the great St. James wrestling program in 1949. He taught and coached at St. Cloud Cathedral High School from 1958-1967. Finally, he taught and coached at Saint John’s University from 1967 until his untimely death in 1973.

At the time of his death, Terry had coached wrestling for more years – twenty-five; had more victories – 249; and had won more state titltes – six; than any other coach in the state’s wrestling history. Terry’s teams twice were National Catholic College champions; six-time state champions; eight-time region champions; and eighteen-time conference champions. Terry coached a number of individuals to titles in wrestling, golf, and track and field; including 1972 NAIA National Collegiate Wrestling Champion Gary Svendsen. He enjoyed a thirty-one match winning streak at Cathedral and a fifty-one match winning streak at Saint John’s. Terry was named the National Catholic College Coach of the Year in 1972. He was a multi-dimensional coach, with winning records as a head coach in basketball, baseball, football, golf, track & field and wrestling. Terry’s son Patrick, and grandson, John, whom Terry never met, are the soccer coaches at Saint John’s University.

Terry and his wife Kathleen had ten children; Patrick, Kevin, Loras, Brian (deceased), Maureen, Kathryn, Thomas, William, Rosemary, and Peggy.

Lester Kertscher, Coach

Les attended Detroit Lakes High School, graduating from there in 1953. He attended Moorhead State, and while there he posted a 22-7 record in two years. He graduated from Moorhead State in 1957. He went on to earn his Masters in Counseling and Guidance.

Les began teaching and coaching in Mahnomen (1958-1961). While there he achieved a dual meet record of 27-11. He began teaching and coaching at Frazee High School in 1962, and he continued to teach and coach until 1976, achieving a record of 199-44-3. His teams were crowned Region 8 champs in 1959, and he led his teams to District 23 titles in 1963, 1964, and 1967. Under Les’ guidance the Frazee Hornets were Heart of Lakes Conference Champs twelve out of the fifteen years he coached there. Les was active in the community outside of teaching and coaching as well. He taught Sunday School and served on his church council for many years. Les will long be remembered for being very unselfish and giving. His counseling office door was always open, and he was always approachable.

Today Les resides in Frazee, MN with his wife Patricia. They have two grown children, Ronald and Russell.

Chris Short, Athlete

Chris Short graduated from Simley High School in 1987. He was a two-time state high school champion. As a junior in high school we was the Espoir National Greco Champion and took third in the Espoir Nationals in freestlye. As a senior he was the Junior National Freestyle Champion. At the University of Minnesota Chris was third in the NCAAs as a redshirt freshman. He was Espoir National Freestyle Champion and took third in the Espoir World Championships. He won the University National Freestyle Championship, and he placed in the top five in the U.S. Open eight times. He was a two-time Cerra Palado International Champion, and he was the Sunkist Internaional Champion as well, along with being crowned the Clansman International Champion. He was a two-time U.S. World Team Member in 1991 and 1994.

Chris graduated from Concordia University in 1996 with a BA in Finance and a BA in Accounting. Today Chris works as a commodity trader for Commodity Specialists Company. He resides in Inver Grove Heights, MN with his wife Bobbie and his four children: Sydnie, Mack, Catherine, and Samantha.

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