NWHOF to Induct 9 new members at the MN Chapter Banquet in the Spring

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter is proud to announce the induction of nine new members for the Class of 2021. Ricky Ties Jr will receive the State Medal of Courage Award from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award are Dr. John Berg Jr, Clay Nagel, Charlie Peterson, Terry Sworsky, Jim Tanniehill, Steve Techam, Ken Vogt, and Jim Williams.

The Banquet will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center, right off I-90, Exit 178A. The schedule includes a social hour at 12 Noon, dinner at 1:00 pm, and presentations, honoree speeches, green jacket parade, and marble plaque inductions at 2:30 pm. 2020 honorees Larry Goodnature and Bill Schmidt will give their postponed acceptance speeches first.

Register online at mn-nwhof.ticketleap.com. Contact Spencer Yohe for more information – spenceryohe@gmail.com, 320-766-1934 (Cell), 1-507-495-3213.

Registration Form

State chapter inductees are permanently honored at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma. View all National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Minnesota Chapter inductees online at nwhof.org/state-chapters/minnesota.

Courage Award:

Ricky Ties Jr (Rochester).

Ricky was visually impaired at birth. A Big Nine Conference champion at Rochester Mayo HS, Ricky was 114-62. While competing at Rochester CTC, Ricky was a two-time Minnesota state community college champion and a two-time NJCAA National Championships qualifier. Ricky was the head coach at Inner Drive Wrestling Club and assisted at RCTC. Rick is currently training Judo at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and is hoping to represent Team USA at the Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan in 2021. He recently placed 7th at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo World Cup.

Lifetime Service:

Dr. John H. Berg Jr, MD (New Prague)

Dr. Berg headed the New Prague elementary wrestling program for 25 years and was a varsity assistant coach for the Trojans for eight years. A great promoter, he has a tournament named in his honor. From 1991-2006, Dr. Berg served as Minnesota State High School League tournament doctor and skin check physician.

Clay Nagel (Frazee and Concordia College)

Nagel coached for 38 years at Frazee High School and Concordia College. He had a 414-110-2 HS career record, three state team titles, 15-time state team place winners, 167 state entrants, 35 state finalists, and 20 individual state champions. Nagel earned 15 Coach of the Year honors including State Coach of the Year in 1992. He coached at Minnesota/USA cadet freestyle and junior nationals for six years. Nagel also put Concordia College on the NCAA DIII map with the most successes in years.

Charlie Peterson (Wayzata) – Inducted Posthumously

Peterson, a 1961 NAIA national runner at Luther College, was the highly successful coach at Wayzata, Tracy, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Peterson’s 1974 Wayzata team was 16-0 and finished second in the MSHSL one-class state tournament. He was on the original Minnesota State Tournament Committee for several years and recommended the first state high school dual meet tournament in the nation! Peterson always gave back to the sport of wrestling. The three-sport athlete at Luther represented Champion Products, Inc., for 43 years in a five-state area. Peterson passed away in March of 2020.

Terry Sworsky (St. Francis)

Sworsky gave back for 34 years as an official and highly successful coach at St. Francis. He graduated from and wrestled at the University of Minnesota. Sworsky also was a valuable member of the MWCA Advisory Committee. His coaching record was 302-127-3 and included nine conference championships, 101 state entrants, and 59 state place winners. Sworsky coached nine state champions, was the 1986 Minnesota State Class AA Coach of the Year, and a 1989 MWCA Dave Bartelma inductee. He was also a Williams Academic Wrestling Award Winner at the University of Minnesota.

Jim Tanniehill (Winona State and USA Wrestling)

Tanniehill was third in the one-class system for Coach Ken Bergstad at Alexander Ramsey High School. He was a six-time All-American at Winona State, (4 in NAIA and 2 in NCAA DI). Tanniehill was the second wrestler in NIC History to win four conference titles. He wrestled on the US Army Team for five years and was a teammate of J Robinson! Tanniehill also wrestled for Team Minnesota under Coach Alan Rice. Tanniehill was the only wrestler in USA Wrestling history to win four national titles in four different weights – 13 titles in all. Now residing in Indianapolis, Ind., Tanniehill has given 50 years back to the sport. His Takedown For Crime Club was awarded a $49,000 grant for working with at-risk kids. Tanniehill is still the head middle school coach at Lincoln Middle School.

Steve Techam (Verndale-Bertha Hewitt)

Techam is a 40-year coaching veteran and he still volunteers today. He wrestled for the legendary Paul “Donnie” Bengston at Hopkins High School. Techam had a 400-178-8 high school coaching record. His teams won 12 Park Region Conference titles and he was a three-time section Coach of the Year. Techam was the 2001 State Class A Coach of the Year. His team earned state runner-up honors in 2001. Techam was a Section Rep for 20 years and a Tournament Director. He was also on the NHSCA Minnesota coaching staff for years, traveling to Pennsylvania and Virginia Beach.

Ken Vogt (Sauk Centre)

Vogt gave 44 years back to the sport of wrestling as a coach and official. He still works the floor at the MSHSL State Wrestling Tournament today. Vogt was a junior college national champion for the legendary Roy Minter at Willmar Junior College (now known as Ridgewater). He continued his career at the University of New Mexico. Vogt coached numerous state tournament entrants and place winners. He coached ten individual state champions. Vogt was Section 7A Coach of the Years three times. His overall coaching record was 235-113. Vogt entered the Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010.

Jim Williams (Clarkfield)

Williams has been one of the top officials in Minnesota at both the high school and collegiate levels for the past 45 years. He has refereed 30 state team and individual tournaments. Williams was also a top associate official for Minnesota Gopher home duals. He worked a number of collegiate national tournaments. Williams was also a successful high school coach in his hometown of Clarkfield. He also coached at the junior high level for a number of years; even when he officiated. Williams’ teams competed in the tough Region 3 Tournament with the likes of Canby, Minneota, Olivia, and Madison.