Jackson County Central’s Baker announces retirement

Randy Baker, one of the most successful and longest-serving high school wrestling coaches in Minnesota, has announced his retirement from Jackson County Central High School, the Jackson County Pilot reported Tuesday.

Baker presented a three-page, handwritten letter to the Jackson County Central school board Monday night which opened with a simple-but-direct statement: “I am stepping down as head wrestling coach.”

Baker began his prep coaching career in 1984 at a succession of schools that eventually became Jackson County Central High — first at what was then Lakefield High School, which then combined with Heron Lake-Okabena in 1987. Then there was a co-op arrangement with Jackson High from 1994 to 1997 which then led to an official merger, creating what is now Jackson Central County 21 years ago. All those different school names — each with their own team name — all with one constant: Randy Baker was head wrestling coach, and incredibly good at it.

Since taking the helm of what eventually became the JCCHS mat program in southwestern Minnesota in 1984, coach Baker has racked up some serious statistics. He has coached 39 individual high school champions, which ranks him second on the all-time Minnesota list… with 93 state placers, third in the state. Baker led his teams to seven state championships. And, during his 33 years as coach, he tallied 510 wins. Continue reading at intermatwrestle.com

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