Culture Starts In The Room

Wes Hanson and Crookston Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

In any sport, success doesn’t start during a competition. Success begins in the offseason and during practice. To have practices that lead to success, the athletes need to buy into what the coaching staff is selling. That process starts by establishing a culture that begins not on the mat but in the practice room. Crookston head wrestling coach Wes Hanson has taken the Pirates from a sub-.500 program to a team that has had back-to-back-to-back winning seasons and might be on the verge of their best season in years. Hanson and his staff have done it by establishing a culture of hard work, not only in competition but in the practice room.

Hanson’s father was a successful wrestler and started his son down the wrestling path.

“My dad wrestled and ended up wrestling at Bemidji State. He introduced me and did some coaching. I started at a young age. Right away, it was enjoyable for me, and once I started competing, I liked the individual nature of the sport. It was a lot of fun.”

His dad started him in wrestling, but Hanson’s friends were instrumental in stoking a passion for wrestling.

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