Benson, MN – Eight new members were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on April 28th in Benson, MN.
The new inductees honored were: Gary Alexander, Luke Becker, Bill Hinchley, Dean Hiscocks, Duane Koslowski, Chuck Ofsthun, Jeff “Bro” Olsen, and Howard Schultz. Many Hall of Fame members were in attendance.
MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling selection Michael Kroells of Scott West received a plaque for personal use and a traveling plaque for his school (Belle Plaine HS).
The MWCA Media Award was presented to Jason Brandt of KSCR/KBMO Radio, Benson.
MWCA Coach of the Year honorees were: Class A – Joel Skillings of Minneota, Class AA – Randy Zimmer of Milaca, and Class AAA – Joe Block of Prior Lake.
The MWCA selected Will Short of Simley as State Head Coach of the Year. Selected as State Assistant Coach of the Year was John Droubie of Cambridge-Isanti.
Will Short and John Droubie, along with MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling selection Michael Kroells of Scott West and Brandon Kingsley of Apple Valley represent Minnesota as The National Wrestling Coaches Association’s State (NWCA) award winners, which qualified them for further NWCA honors at the Regional and National levels.
MWCA Scholarship recipients honored were Chase Austvold of New London-Spicer, Bernard Floeder of Mounds View, Adam Hammer of Osseo, Michael Kroells of Scott West, Curt Maas of Medford, and Brett Pfarr of LeSueur-Henderson.
Lifetime Achievement Award recipients were Bill Durbahn of Mankato West, Don Krusemark of Mankato West, Jeff Lamphere of Minnetonka, Bruce Urbatch of Mankato East, and Randy Zimmer of Milaca.
The MWCA presented State Champion and State Runners-up trophies based on the individual tournament to: Class A – 1st Kimball, 2nd Minneota; Class AA – 1st Simley, 2nd Scott West, Class AAA – 1st Apple Valley, 2nd St. Michael-Albertville.
2012 Bartelma Hall of Fame Inductees and Presenters
Gary Alexander, Athlete – Gary Pelcl presenter
Luke Becker, Athlete – Dan Becker presenter
Bill Hinchley, Contributor – Dale Benjamin presenter
Dean Hiscocks, Contributor – Jerry Reker presenter
Duane Koslowski, Athlete – Dennis Koslowski presenter
Chuck Ofsthun, Athlete – Rob Finneseth presenter
Jeff “Bro” Olsen, Coach – Oliver Ullman presenter
Howard Schultz, Contributor – John Golden presenter
2012 MWCA Hall of Fame Inductees Biographies
Gary Alexander, Athlete
Gary got his start wrestling at Hopkins High School. He was a member of the 1963 state championship team coached by Paul Bengston, wrestling at 120 lbs. He graduated from high school in 1963 and then attended the University of Minnesota and later River Falls. It was in international wrestling that Gary made his mark. He made the U.S. Greco-Roman Olympic team in 1976. He was a Pan-Am Games silver medalist in 1975. He was on the U.S. World Team in 1971, 1973, and 1975. He won multiple AAU and USWF National Championships.
Gary was one of the driving forces behind the recruiting and coaching the 2nd generation of the Minnesota Wrestling Club. He wrestled alongside Brad Rheingans, Pat Marcy, Dan Chandler, John Hughes, Tom Press, Jim Andre, Evan Johnson, Gary Pelcl, Brian Gust, and Bruce Thompson. According to many of his teammates, Gary’s enthusiasm, love for the sport, and story-telling ability will never be forgotten. Gary continued to be involved in coaching after his career, and his son was a Minnesota State High School Champion.
Today Gary is the CEO of Victoria’s Bakery. Gary’s wife’s name is Victoria. They have two children, Amir and Maria.
Luke Becker, Athlete
Luke wrestled for Cambridge-Isanti High School. He was a five-time state place-winner, placing 4th in 1994, 3rd in 1995, then earning 3 Minnesota state titles. (135 lbs. in 1996, 145 lbs. in 1997, and 152 lbs. in 1998.) He helped his team win two section titles, and they placed 6th in state in 1994 and 5th in state in 1998. He was also a member of two section runner-up teams in the always competitive Section 7. Luke’s high school record was 210-29 and was Minnesota’s wins leader at the time.
Luke continued his wrestling success at the University of Minnesota, becoming a 4-time All-American, including a national title in 2002 at 157 lbs. He was also a member of the Gopher National Championship teams of 2001 and 2002, along with being a member of 3 Big Ten Championship teams from 2001-2003. He was a Big Ten Conference champion in 2002 and 2003. Luke finished his collegiate career with a 126-29 record (10th best at the U)
In the 70-plus years of Minnesota’s amateur wrestling, only nine wrestlers have attended a Minnesota High School and then proceeded to win an NCAA title. Luke joined a very elite group that includes former Minnesota Gophers Dick Mueller, Evan Johnson, Pat Neu, Marty Morgan, and recently Jason Ness and Tony Nelson. Two other athletes, James Kammen and Joel Sharratt, also attended a Minnesota High School and won a national title outside of Minnesota. Luke’s accomplishments have only been achieved by a handful of young athletes, and it speaks volumes about Luke’s abilities. He was a solid wrestler in all positions, and he will long be regarded as one of Minnesota’s finest ever.
Upon graduating from the University with a degree in Educational Psychology/Youth Studies, Luke has served as an assistant coach for the Gophers.
Luke’s wife’s name is Christa, and they have a daughter named Brittlyn.
Bill Hinchley, Contributor
Bill has been a member of the Minnesota U.S.A. Wrestling organization for more than 20 years. He has served as President and C.E.O. since 1993. His willingness to volunteer has enabled Minnesota wrestlers to improve and excel in Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and Folkstyle wrestling. Because of Bill’s leadership, Minnesota-U.S.A. wrestling is one of the top amateur state wrestling organizations in the country. He helps organize, direct, and often serves as head official for local, state, regional, and national events in U.S.A. wrestling. He accompanies Minnesota wrestling teams all over the country at regional and national tournaments at Schoolboy, Cadet, Junior, and Senior tournaments each summer.
Bill has received several awards on the state and national level for being an outstanding director and official, including the 2007 U.S.A. Wrestling Mat Official of the Year. In his community, Bill was one of the founders of the Owatonna Wrestling Association and has spent thousands of hours volunteering as an announcer, official, and director of many Owatonna tournaments over the years. The Hinchley Open in Owatonna was named in his honor. Bill was recently inducted into the Region 1 Hall of Fame, which honors coaches and contributors in SE Minnesota. Bill’s wife is Genelle, and they have three children; Brian, Bruce, and Gretchen.
Dean Hiscocks, Contributor
Dean graduated from Britt, Iowa, in 1952, wrestling for legendary coach Dick Black. He earned a 43-16 record in high school, finishing 2nd in state his senior year at 154 lbs. In 1952 he placed third in the Olympic Team Trials at a time when the top 2 advanced to the Olympics. He attended Mankato State University, and he was scheduled to wrestle in the finals of the junior national tournament his freshmen year but forfeited the match because his dad died of brain cancer earlier in the day. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1954, and served for two years as a medic, seeing service in Germany and the United States.
Dean was a farmer for many years and then became an employee with the Grand Meadow School system in the maintenance department. He coached wrestling at Grand Meadow for nine years, drove the wrestling bus, and was active in the booster club. Dean has served as a Section Rep for many years, and he has been a part of the weigh-in crew at the State tournament for 18 years. In 2010 he was named to the Southeastern Minnesota Region 1 Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the sport he loves. He will always be regarded as a man who was in it for the kids, and for demonstrating tremendous sportsmanship at all times.
Dean is married to Marie, and they have four children: Tony (married to Susan with kids Sarah and Taylor of Raleigh, NC); Traci (married to Scott with kids Gage and Shay of Cincinnati, OH); Terry (married to Francisca with kids Andrea and Karlaof Oshkosh, WI); and Tricia (married to John with kids Julia and Tessa of Rochester, MN).
Duane Koslowski, Athlete
Duane graduated from Doland, SD in 1977. He was a two-time state finalist and earned Doland’s first state title in 1977 with a 29-0 record in the 185 lb. class. His team placed second in state that year as well. Duane also excelled in football, achieving all-Conference and all-State honors and helping his team to three undefeated seasons in nine-man football.
Duane attended the University of Minnesota-Morris, where he played football and wrestled. He was a two-time NSIC champion and an NCAA Division III Champion in 1981. He earned All-Conference and All-District in football and was an All-American lineman. Duane graduated with a B.A. in Business Economics.
After a three-year lay-off, Duane continued his wrestling career representing the Minnesota Greco-Roman Wrestling Club. With his twin brother Dennis as his coach and mentor, he won 3 U.S. National Greco-Roman Championships. He placed 4th in the heavy-weight Division in the 1986 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and placed 5th in the 1987 World Championships held in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He won a gold medal at the 1987 Pan-Am Games in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was inducted into the University of Minnesota-Morris “Cougar” Hall of Fame in 1986 and the NSIC Conference Hall of Fame in 1989. Duane was a member of the 1988 Olympic Greco-Roman team that competed in Seoul, South Korea, where he placed 8th.
Today Duane is a Regional Manager for Harleysville Life Insurance Company. He resides in Palmyra, Virginia. He is married to Mary Pat, and they have four children; Jason, Christina, MacLean, and Caden. Duane spends much of his free time coaching youth soccer, football, and basketball.
Chuck Ofsthun, Athlete
Chuck wrestled for Robbinsdale High School, graduating in 1950. He was a three-time state champion, earning a state title at 103 lbs. in 1948, 103 lbs. in 1949, and 112 lbs. in 1950. One of his highlights is beating Dick Mueller from Anoka. This was Mueller’s only high school loss. Chuck continued to wrestle at the University of Minnesota, qualifying for the NCAA National tournament in 1954, and earned a second-place All-American finish. Chuck coached at Robbinsdale High School for three years and then went on to start a Junior High wrestling program in Columbia Heights for head coach Jack Gause. He coached for six years and continued teaching until retiring in 1991.
Today Chuck and his wife Carol reside in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have five children and seven grandchildren.
Jeff “Bro” Olsen, Coach
Bro attended Benilde High School, graduating from there in 1962, and then attended Mankato State College. After being drafted, he served in Vietnam as an infantryman with the 1st Infantry Division in 1967-68 and then graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1970. He and his wife Autumn left the Twin Cities and moved north in 1972 where they build their home in the Beltrami Island State Forest, south of Roseau. They have four adult children.
Bro coached 19 years as the head coach in Roseau from 1979-1998 and achieved a record of 146-79-5 and then finished his 20th year as an assistant coach in 1999. He took some rough characters and turned them into fine young men with a purpose. He gave them perspective, confidence and respect; and he taught them not only about wrestling but about life.
His team won a berth in the MN State Wrestling Tournament in 1996. He did so in Roseau, which makes his accomplishments all the more incredible, as no team has been to the state hockey tournament as many times as the Roseau Rams. He was coach of the Year in Region/Section 8 in 1988, 1994, and 1996. He had 36 state entrants and 12 state place-winners, including three state champions and three runners-up.
Coaches up in the northern part of the state will long remember, appreciate, and respect “Brother Jeff’ for his passion for kids, wrestling, and seeing the lighter side of life. He helped ease a lot of tension in an incredibly competitive section. He has helped forge lasting friendships that are still present today.
Bro still lives in the Roseau area, and he and his stocking cap and camera are a familiar sight to see down at the “show.” He remains active in his community as a reporter and columnist for the Roseau Times-Region.
Howard Schultz, Contributor
Howard attended Chisholm High School, where he was a 4-year letter-winner in football and a 5-year letter-winner in wrestling before graduating from there in 1959. He attended Bemidji State University, lettering in both wrestling and football. He graduated from BSU in 1963 with a degree in English plus Speech and Drama. He began teaching and coaching at Bemidji High School in the fall of 1963.
There have been some outstanding assistant coaches in the state of Minnesota over the years. They are often the “unsung heroes” of our sport. Howard Schultz could be described as “The Grandfather of Bemidji High School Wrestling. This man assisted long-time Head Coach Ken Schmoker for 23 years and also served as an interim Head Coach. “Howie” also officiated for 22 years at the high school and collegiate level, working regional, state, and national tournaments. Howard embedded himself in the Bemidji area. He has performed volunteer work as a hospice volunteer, worked for the American Red Cross, and served as past President of the Bemidji Area Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association. He served on the local hospital foundation board as well. He has also been employed as a deputy sheriff of Beltrami County. Howard survived a stroke, and he credits the lessons he learned in athletics as a main reason he prevailed and can walk today; to persevere and to accept support from family and friends.