Matt Kelliher of Apple Valley is this year’s Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling. He will be honored at the MWCA Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, April 9th in Benson, MN.
The MWCA annually presents the Mr. Minnesota High School Wrestler award to the senior that best exemplifies the highest ideals of high school wrestling in Minnesota. Judging is based on past performances, citizenship, academics, leadership, and adherence to MSHSL rules.
Kelliher is a three-time state champion and a four-time state finalist. He won the Class AAA 135 pound title this year, the 125-pound title as a junior, and the 119-pound title as a sophomore. Matt also placed second at 112 pounds as a freshman.
He ended his high school career with a 174-14 record (winning 92.6%).
Kelliher was an Apple Valley team captain his junior and senior seasons and he helped the Eagles win state championships every year he competed for them.
Kelliher was a double All-American at the 2010 USA Wrestling Junior Nationals placing second in freestyle and eighth in Greco-Roman. He was an All-American as a cadet in 2009 placing third in freestyle.
Kelliher, Apple Valley’s third MWCA Mr. Minnesota Wrestler, will continue his wrestling career in college next year with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Matt’s brother Tom is a redshirt sophomore for the Badgers and his brother Craig is a redshirt freshman for Central Michigan.
Matt’s parents are Tom and Darla and his high school coach is Jim Jackson.
Also being honored at the Bartelma Hall of Fame Banquet will be Minnesota Head Coach of the Year selection Jim Jackson of Apple Valley, Assistant Coach of the Year Dave Pfaffinger of Blue Earth Area, and Lifetime Achievement honoree Dwight Burman of St. James.
Jackson and Pfaffinger, along with Kelliher 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.
2011 MWCA Bartelma Hall of Fame inductees are John Barrett, Jim Carrington, Jim Dotseth, Jeff Gallagher, Ed Homan, Bruce Thompson, Stephen “Pete” Saxe, and Joel Sharratt.
Mr. Minnesota Wrestler Winners
- 2023 – Max McEnelly of Waconia
- 2022 – Bennett Berge of Kasson-Mantorville
- 2021 – Derrick Cardinal of Forest Lake
- 2020 – Craig Orlando of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie
- 2019 – Greg Kerkvliet of Simley
- 2018 – Gable Steveson of Apple Valley
- 2017 – Brady Berge of Kasson-Mantorville
- 2016 – Mark Hall of Apple Valley
- 2015 – Lance Benick of Totino-Grace
- 2014 – Tommy Thorn of St. Michael-Albertville
- 2013 – Jake Short of Simley
- 2012 – Michael Kroells of Scott West
- 2011 – Matt Kelliher of Apple Valley
- 2010 – Dylan Ness of Bloomington Kennedy
- 2009 – Kevin Steinhaus of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg
- 2008 – Jake Deitchler of Anoka
- 2007 – Zach Sanders of Wabasha-Kellogg
- 2006 – Mike Thorn of St. Michael-Albertville
- 2005 – Nathan Matousek of Glencoe-Silver Lake
- 2004 – Charlie Falck of Apple Valley
- 2003 – Eric Sanders of Wabasha-Kellogg
- 2002 – Jeff Pfaffinger of Blue Earth Area
- 2001 – Marcus LeVesseur of Bloomington Kennedy
- 2000 – Nate Baker of Jackson County Central
- 1999 – Jacob Volkmann of Battle Lake-Underwood-Henning
- 1998 – Luke Becker of Cambridge-Isanti
- 1997 – Chad Erikson of Apple Valley
- 1996 – Dan Duncombe of St. Michael-Albertville
- 1995 – Jon Fitzgerald of Martin County West
- 1994 – Chad Kraft of
- 1993 – Brandon Howe of Totino-Grace
- 1992 – Brandon Paulson of Anoka
- 1991 – Chad Nelson of Stewartville
- 1990 – Chad Carlson of Willmar