Benson, Minn. – Eight new members were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on April 26th in Benson, Minnesota.
The new inductees honored were Perry Fink, Nate Hendrickson, Don Hunke, Ron Jacobson, Matt Nagel, Rick Rud, Jon Rhodes, and Randy Zimmer. Many past Hall of Fame inductees were in attendance.
MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling selection Tommy Thorn of St. Michael-Albertville received a plaque for personal use and a traveling plaque for his school. Thorn had a prior commitment and was not in attendance so STMA coach Dan Lefebvre accepted the award on his behalf.
MWCA Coach of the Year honorees were: Class A – Joel Viss of Chatfield, Class AA – Lyle Freudenberg and Scott Gorecki of Foley, and Class AAA – Joe Block of Prior Lake. Gorecki was not in attendance.
The MWCA selected Joel Viss as State Head Coach of the Year. Selected as State Assistant Coach of the Year was Travis Bartels of Chatfield. Viss and Bartels, along with MWCA Mr. Minnesota of Wrestling selection Tommy Thorn represent Minnesota as The National Wrestling Coaches Association’s State (NWCA) award winners, which qualifies them for further NWCA honors at the Regional and National levels.
The MWCA presented State Champion and State Runners-up trophies based on the unofficial individual state tournament scoring to: Class A – 1st Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 2nd Chatfield; Class AA – 1st Simley, 2nd Scott West; Class AAA – 1st Apple Valley, 2nd St. Michael-Albertville.
Five Lifetime Achievement Award recipients were honored for their coaching longevity – Bill Feuchtenberger of Southland, Lyle Freudenberg of Foley, Kevin Presler of Royalton/Upsala, Bruce Rosenow of Hutchinson, and Bill Simpkins of Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland.
Photos by Jeff Beshey.
2014 Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame inductees
Perry Fink, Coach
Perry attended Park High School in Cottage Grove, MN and graduated from there in 1985. He had a high school record of 95-5. Perry took third in AA at 132 pounds in 1983, was the 1984 138 pound state champion, and placed third at 138 pounds in 1985.
Perry continued his wrestling at SDSU, earning a record of 119-32. He was a four-time North Central Conference Champion, and a three-time NCAA Division II All-American. (sixth in 1986, fourth in 1988, and fourth in 1989).
After graduating from SDSU in 1993 with a degree in BS in Mathematics Education, Perry began teaching and coaching at Park-Cottage Grove in 1989, and he earned a record of 9-4-1. He continued to teach and coach at Canby High School, replacing longtime coach Gerry Gingles in 1992. Perry coached thru 2011, living up to high expectations and reputation that was expected in Canby. He compiled a record of 396-118-3. His teams won nine Section 3A titles, three state team titles, and two team runner-up finishes. He coached 43 state place winners, and three state champions. His 1995 team won the prestigious Minnesota Christmas Tournament and to date has been the only class A team to win it. Upon leaving coaching Perry had amassed a record of 405-121-4.
Perry had a no-nonsense approach to coaching. He told his kids what they needed to do to be successful, and then he expected them to do it. His teams were well-coached, strong both physically and mentally, and they believed they could win against anyone. He is well respected by his wrestlers, his students, and his fellow coaches not only in Section 3 but throughout the state.
Perry’s wife’s name is Catherine, and they have four kids – Nolan, Mallary, Lane, and Lincoln.
Nate Hendrickson, Athlete
Nate attended Menahga High School, graduating from there in 1994. His high school record was 175-26-2, 4th most wins in Minnesota at the time. His was a three-time placer at state; third as a sophomore, fourth as a junior, and third as a senior.
Nate attended Moorhead State University, being recruited by long-time assistant coach Spencer Yohe and Head Coach John Sterner. He became a four-time NCAA Division II and NAIA All-American. He was third his freshmen year, fourth his sophomore year, a Division II National Champion his junior year and the only wrestler in Division II to finish undefeated (33-0) during the 1996-97 season. He placed sixth his senior year. His college record was 122-13. He was a four-time NSIC Conference champion, and a three-time NSIC Wrestler of the Year. He was named the 1996-97 NCAA Division II Outstanding Wrestler, and the 1996-97 NCAA Division II Athlete of the Year. He was inducted into the NCAA Division II National Hall of Fame in 2010. He was inducted into the Minnesota State University-Moorhead Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. He was a four-time Successful Farming Magazine First Team All-American.
Nate graduated from Moorhead State in 2000 with a degree in Construction Management. Today he works as Director of Facilities at Tri-County Health Care in Wadena, Minn. He has served as a youth elementary wrestling coach at Menagha/Sebeka, and been a volunteer assistant varsity coach. He has served on the Sebeka School Board of Education, and serves on the MSUM Construction Management Advisory Board.
Nate’s wife’s name is Lisa, and they have six kids – Drew, Lindsay, Megan, Tara, and Ethan, and Janelle.
Don Hunke, Coach
Don attended Wadena High School, graduating from there in 1955. He attended Moorhead State University, graduating from there in 1959 with a B.S. in Broad Science and a Minor in Social Studies.
Don began his teaching career in 1959 at Barrett, MN before moving to Parkers Prairie in 1963 where he taught for 30 years before retiring in 1993. His only wrestling experience he had was attending a few high school matches and then assisting Hall of Fame Coach Andy McCarty for four years.
Don coached at Parkers Prairie High School from 1970-1982. He earned a record of 114-43. He won three District 22 championships, and won several Park Region Conference titles. He served as a District rep and a Region (Section Rep) during the first year that the two-class system was created. Don coached in the always tough Region 6 and his teams finished second to Staples twice.
He was always enjoyable to work with and coach against. He coached Ken Berres to a state title in the one class system in 1975. Don credits three very helpful assistant coaches – Dave Marietta, Dave Taylor, and Rich Schaffer, along with the help of Andy McCarty – as the keys to the successes he had.
Dave and his wife Mary Ellen have lived on beautiful Kabekona Lake near Walker the past 20 years. They have five kids Patrick, Michelle, Scott, Nathan, and Margarit.
Ron Jacobsen, Athlete
Ron attended Owatonna High School, graduating from there in 1957. He was a five-time letter winner and was a four-time state placewinner – fourth at 112 pounds, third at 138 pounds, second at 145 pounds, and third at 154 pounds. He was a three-time Region 1 champion. His only losses came in the state tournament during his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.
Ron attended the University of Minnesota for a while, but then joined the U.S. Marines. He continued his wrestling while serving his country. (All-Marine Corps Champion in 1960 and qualified for the 1960 U.S. Olympic team as an alternate to Ed DeWitt. He was a two-time National Champion at Lamar Junior College in 1961 (177 pounds) and in 1962 (167 pounds) He attended the University of New Mexico where he was the 1963 Western Athletic Conference Champion and 1964 Conference Runner-up at 177 pounds.
Ron coached at New Mexico as an assistant from 1964-1966, then became the head coach from 1966-1980. He coached long time Sauk Centre and Hall of Fame coach Ken Vogt. Rons’ teams were WAC co-champs in 1972, and he was named the WAC Wrestling Coach of the Year. New Mexico sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Division I Nationals that year.
Ron served on the NCAA Rules Committee from 1974-1980. He was inducted into the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1970 and the University of New Mexico Athletic Hall of Honor in September 2011. Ron’s name is Bobbi.
Matt Nagel, Athlete
Matt attended Frazee High School, wrestling under father Clay Nagel and graduating in 2001. He was Minnesota’s first five-time state champion, and he amassed career record of 217 wins and 18 losses.
Matt attended the University of Minnesota, and was crowned an All-American at the NCAA Division I National Tournament in 2005, placing fifth. He compiled a record of 99 wins and 40 losses. He was captain of the Gopher team during the 2004-05 season.
Matt was a four-time USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior National Champion, and competed in the FILA Pan-Am Championships. Matt’s accomplishments at the Division I level are especially noteworthy due to the fact that Matt was willing to wrestle up several weights his freshmen year to help his team win the Big 10 Championships. As a sophomore he cut back down to 157 to place fifth at the Big Ten Championships and qualify for the NCAAs. In his final two seasons, Matt finally had a chance to wrestle at his natural weight class of 165 pounds, placing third and second at the Big Ten Championships and claiming All-American honors.
After graduating from the U of M in 2006, Matt began working as an assistant to his father at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. Matt continued to pass on his love for wrestling, and today he serves as head coach at Concordia. He has helped to produce several national qualifiers, All-Americans, and a national champion in just a few short years. Matt’s ability to work with and mentor wrestlers is truly remarkable. He will long be remembered for his dedication to being one of the best wrestlers to come out of Minnesota.
Jon Rhodes, Coach
Jon attended Gaylord High School, graduating from there in 1959. He did not wrestle in high school as there was no program at that time. He was the captain of the basketball team. He attended Bemidji State College, graduating in 1965.
Jon coached his first two years at Perham, and followed that with one year as a volunteer coach at a middle school in Forrest Grove, Oregon, while he pursued his master’s degree at Portland State University. He completed the degree in Minnesota.
He began his twenty year coaching tenure in Harmony, Minnesota in 1970. While there his teams won eleven Southeast/Maple Leaf Conference titles and numerous tournament championships. His 1984-85 team went undefeated during the regular season.
In 1992 he and his wife, Carol accepted teaching/coaching positions at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, Japan. His Titan teams won four Kanto Tournament Titles, three Far-East Titles, four Kanto Conference Dual Meet Championships and many team tournament titles. Two of his St. Mary’s teams also went undefeated.
In thirty-six years of coaching he compiled an overall record of 249-99-8 and experienced thirty-three winning seasons. Jon was also named “Teacher of the Year” in Harmony in 1974 and District 1 Coach of the Year in 1989, as well as twice winning Coach of the Year honors in Tokyo.
Jon’s wife Carol had a long and successful teaching career, having taught at St. Cloud Tech; Detroit Lakes; Forrest Grove, Oregon; Harmony, Minnesota; and Tokyo, Japan. Jon and Carol have been married 45 years and have two boys – Reg and Ryan, (both wrestled) as well as two grandchildren – Aiden (4) and Zoey (3).
Rick Rud, Contributor
Rick is a 1977 graduate of Hayfield High School. He attended Winona State where he got his degree in Computer Science and later attended Concordia College in St. Paul where he received his graduate degree in Business Management. Rick worked at IBM in Rochester, Minn. and in New York for 20 years, leaving in 2000, when he enrolled at Hamline University, School of Law. He received his J.D. in 2002 and is currently a Business Manager for Covanta Energy, managing the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center in Minneapolis.
Rick has been active in wrestling as an official for 34 years. He is currently the Director of the Southern Minnesota Wrestling Officials Association (SMWOA) and has been its leader for 25 years. This organization of wrestling officials started with about ten officials and they now have a roster of 45 members and are an active association in developing new officials and promoting youth wrestling tournaments. Rick is well known and respected throughout the southern part of the state, and his dedication to mentoring other referees has had a positive impact on wrestling not only in Minnesota but in other states as well. Rick has been invited to speak at many high school wrestling banquets as well as the Iowa Wrestling Coaches Assn. annual meeting and also was a guest speaker at Punahou High School in Honolulu.
Rick has 25 years of MSHSL State Tournaments under his belt and he has served on the MSHSL Advisory Committee, Rules Committee, and Wrestling Officials Directors Committee. Rick has been active not only in officiating high school wrestling, but also served as the head official for the NYWA State Tournaments. In 2011 he was inducted into the Region 1 Wrestling Hall of Fame and in 2012 he received the MSHSL Distinguished Service Award for an Official.
Rick is married to Patty Brown-Rud and he has two children – Eric and Emily.
Randy Zimmer, Coach
Randy attended Wabasso High School, wrestling under Hall of Fame Coach Gary Hindt and graduating from there in 1975. He was the first Wabasso wrestler to achieve 100 wins. He continued his wrestling and education at Worthington Junior College, then St. Cloud State, graduating from there in 1980.
Randy taught elementary education and coached wrestling at Milaca High School from 1980-2012. His coaching record stands at 556-138-8. He was voted Minnesota Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2012. He has taken ten team to the state tournament, and they placed in six. He coached 127 state entrants, 44 state placers, and five state champions. He is a ten-time recipient of the 6AA or 7AA Section Coach of the Year.
Randy was voted 2009 USA Wrestling Person of the Year. In 2012 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the MWCA, and in 2013 he was awarded the St. Cloud State Alumni Achievement Award. He was the Milaca Teacher of the Year in 2011.
Randy’s teams were in shape, and they had solid technique. He was a gentlemen and a great sport on and off the mat.
His wife’s name is Kris, and they have been married for 34 years. He has three married children – Zach (St. Michael), Ali (Milaca), and Jenna (Milaca), and five grandchildren.