Seven new members were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on April 24th, 2010 at the Willmar Holiday Inn in Willmar, Minn.
The new inductees honored were: Jim Anderson, Dale Benjamin, Tom Beyer, Stan Christ, Brandon Paulson, Ken Vogt, and Vik Wilson. Many Hall of Fame members were in attendance.
The MWCA selected Co-Head Coaches Jim Short and Will Short of Simley as State Head Coach of the Year. Selected as State Assistant Coach of the Year was St. James’ Dwight Burman.
Jim and Will Short and Burman, along with MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling selection Dylan Ness of Bloomington Kennedy represent Minnesota as The National Wrestling Coaches Association’s State award winners, which qualified them for further honors at the Regional and National levels.
Two coaches were honored with Lifetime Achievement awards, given to coaches for their service to wrestling and long coaching careers. Honorees at this year’s induction ceremony were: Wayne Weller of New York Mills and Tom Gruhlke of BOLD.
- Jim Anderson, Athlete – presenter Don Meyers
- Dale Benjamin, Contributor – presenter Scot Davis
- Tom Beyer, Coach – presenter Chad Carlson/Carl Carlson
- Stan Christ, Athlete – presenter Luvern Klar
- Brandon Paulson, Athlete – presenter Doug Paulson
- Ken Vogt, Coach – presenter Roy Minter
- Vik Wilson, Coach – presenter Ron Stow
Jim Anderson, Athlete
Jim wrestled at Fridley High School, beginning his career there during the 1958059 season. He weighed 86 lbs. and volunteered to be the team’s 112 pounder. His record that season was 0-12. The next year he wrestled at 95 lbs. and compiled a 21-2 record. He ended his last four years in high school with an 89-4 record, losing only two matches in his last three years of high school. He earned 3 district titles, a Region Championship, and became Fridley High School’s first state champion at 112 pounds, going undefeated at 29-0 his senior season.
After graduating from high school in 1963 Jim continued his wrestling career at the University of Minnesota. During his three years as a letter winner at the “U” he compiled at 60-10 record. He was fourth, third and second at the Big Tens at 123 pounds, and he only weighed 115 lbs. (The Big Ten did not have a 115 lb. weight class.) He was second in the country his senior year, bowing to Rick Sanders in the 1967 NCAA finals. He was selected to wrestle in the prestigious East-West collegiate dual meet, which was for the most highly regarded collegians of a given year. His cumulative seven-year wrestling career from high school through the NCAA’s was 149 wins and 14 losses.
After college wrestling, Jim went on to coach at Northern Michigan University for one season, then taught and coached at Eden Valley-Watkins from 1969-1971, and finally at Mora High School from 1971-1993. Jim’s wife’s name is Susan, and they have three children: Zachary, Aaron, and Matthew.
Dale Benjamin, Contributor
Dale Benjamin is a fixture in Owatonna, southeastern MN, and the great state of Minnesota. Dale attended Bradgate High School in Gilmore City, Iowa, graduating in 1975. He attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduating from there in 1976 with an Associate’s Degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting. Dale has been involved with wrestling for over 34 years as a radio and television announcer, as a tournament announcer, and as an emcee/narrator. Dale has broadcast the Division I National tournament, the prestigious Clash Duel Tournament, has emceed/narrated for the National Hall of Fame Wrestling Banquet, and has been an announcer for the MN/USA Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament.
In 1993 Dale was named USA Wrestling Magazine’s “National Broadcaster of the Year.” He was the announcer for the Dream Team Classic in 2000, which was held at Apple Valley High School. Dale started The Superior Trophy Company over 20 years ago, and he kept his prices very low so that coaches and athletes could keep their costs down. He has donated thousands of hours to the world’s oldest and greatest sport; and he has never asked for anything in return. He always says, “I can’t-because it’s for wrestling.” Dale’s wife is Sheri, and they have four children and three granddaughters.
Tom Beyer, Coach
Tom attended Morris High School, placing fourth in state and graduating in 1976. He attended the University of Minnesota-Morris, and he made his mark at the Division III level, earning a national title in 1978, a fourth place finish in 1980, and a second-place finish in 1981. Tom was a three-time Northern Intercollegiate Conference champion.
Upon graduating from college in 1981, he began teaching and coaching at Willmar High School, where he continues to teach today. While coaching there Tom amassed a record of 248 wins, and 201 losses. His teams won two region championships and four Central Lakes Conference titles. He coached six individual state champions and sixty state entrants. Tom coached 34 different wrestlers to records exceeding sixty wins. Tom was well-known among coaches and wrestlers in the area. His teams consistently peaked at tournament time. He is still a featured clinician at the Greg Schwarz Memorial Wrestling Camp; his arm bar series is among the best in the state. His teams were good technicians, physical, and in great shape.
Tom came out of retirement to take the head coaching position at Ridgewater College. He was named MCAC Coach of the Year his first two years. He qualified 15 wrestlers for the national tournament in his first two years, plus 9 more qualifiers this past year. He continues to keep the program in high regards both in the state and nation. Tom’s wife is Stacy, and he has four children: Jake Beyer, Katie Paris, Hannah Hanson, and Jennifer Tone.
Stan Christ, Athlete
Stan is one of Minnesota’s most successful wrestlers in the state’s storied history. He was an unbeaten three time state champ for Mankato High School under Hall of Fame coach Luverne Klar and assistant Arnie Gish. (1957-175lbs., 1958-175 lbs., and 1959-Hwt.). His high school career record was 109 wins and zero losses. Former Mankato State University Coach Rummy Macias called Stan “one of the greatest Minnesota High School Prep wrestlers ever.”
Stan was the second oldest of four brothers who also enjoyed successful wrestling careers. Upon graduating from high school in 1959 Stan attended Mankato State and then earned a business degree from Mankato Tech in 1978. Stan owned and operated a real estate business, an antique store, and a shoe repair business. Stan was very active in city government, serving on the Mankato City Council and also serving as Mankato’s mayor (1988-1999). Stan was named to the All-Time Minnesota 60-year Dream Team in 1997.
Brandon Paulson, Athlete
Brandon Paulson was a three-time state champion for Anoka High School, compiling a record of 155-12-1. He was awarded the 1992 Mr. Minnesota Wrestler Award his senior year. He was a 1993 Junior World Silver Medalist. Brandon earned sixteen national titles in Greco-Roman wrestling between the Cadet and Senior level. He was also the first high school wrestler ever to earn a spot on the U.S. National Senior Team.
In 1996 he was a silver medalist in the Olympic Games. He was a 1998 NCAA Div. I All-American for the University of Minnesota. Brandon competed in 3 World Championships including winning a silver medal in 2001.
He was an assistant for Anoka High School between 2005-2008, which produced seven individual state titles. He was the USA Junior World Greco-Roman coach in 2008, and was a member of the Olympic coaching team as a personal coach of Jake Deitchler at the 2008 Olympics. Brandon is currently the co-director of the Pinnacle Wrestling School in Shoreview, MN. Brandon’s wife’s name is Rochell and he has three children: Sydney (10), Abby (9), and Elijah (5).
Ken Vogt, Coach
Ken attended Sauk Centre High School, graduating from there in 1970. He went on to wrestle at Willmar Community College, where he earned a NJCAA National Title in 1972. Ken graduated from WCC in 1972 and continued wrestling at the University of New Mexico. Ken also coached at the University of New Mexico for two years.
Ken began coaching in Sauk Centre in 1976-77 and amassed a record of 235 wins and 113 losses. Ken recently came back out of retirement (again) to help maintain the success that he helped to create. He has coached numerous state entrants and state place-winners, including 10 state champions.
Ken’s team were well-known for being in great condition, being great leg-riders, and being very physical. Ken is well-known throughout central Minnesota for being intense, but keeping the fun in wrestling. Ken is married to Sally, and they have three children; Aaron, Ethan, and Ann. Ken continues to farm and coach with his sons.
Vik Wilson, Coach
Vik attended Rochester High School where he wrestled and played football. He graduated from there in 1954 and then attended Macalester College, graduating in 1958. He played wrestled and played football for Macalester for four years, winning two MIAC titles; one at 177 lbs. and one at 167 lbs. He is a member of the Macalester College Athletic Hall of Fame.
He began his teaching and coaching career in Benson, MN and taught science and coached there from 1958 to 1963. He led Benson to four District 21 titles. He then moved to Stillwater and taught Biology there from 1963-1992 and coached there from 1963-1984. He compiled a record of 237 wins and 83 losses, winning eight St. Paul Suburban Conference titles. He had 53 consecutive conference duel meet wins; He coached three state champs and two runner-ups. His two sons were all-conference wrestlers.
Vik was selected as the 1984 Region 4AA Coach of the year and was an 8-time Coach of the Year in the St. Paul Suburban Conference. While on sabbatical in 1975-76 he worked with the wrestling team at Southern Oregon State College.
Vik’s teams were well-coached and well-conditioned. He worked hard to maintain a personal relationship with all wrestlers, regardless of abilities. He made a major impact on wrestling in Benson and Stillwater, as well as in the St. Paul area. He has been married to his wife, Nancy for 52 years hand has five children: Erika, Marta, Andrea, Nik, and Robb.