Chayse Jackson named head wrestling coach at SMSU

MARSHALL, Minn. – Southwest Minnesota State University Interim Director of Athletics Bruce Saugstad announced on Thursday the hiring of Chayse Jackson as the next head wrestling coach at SMSU.

Jackson comes to SMSU after serving the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Minot State University. Jackson, who becomes just the fifth head coach in the 55-year history of the program, takes over for Jesse Nelson, who announced his resignation on May 6 after 14 seasons as head coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chayse as our next head wrestling coach,” Saugstad said. “Chayse was outstanding in the interview process as his philosophy and vision made him the person to lead our program. He has a tremendous work ethic, energy, and passion for the sport which will be invaluable to our student-athletes both on and off the mat. We look forward to Chayse’s leadership to help continue to build on our wrestling tradition.”

Jackson helped Minot State make significant improvements during his three-year tenure. In 2019-20, MSU recorded a Division II-era record six dual wins, as well as victories over three Top 25 programs. The team also received its first-ever Division II national ranking. During his first year on staff in 2018-19, the Beavers had three NWCA Scholar All-Americans, four Super Region V place-winners, and a school-record two national qualifiers.

MSU had seven NWCA Scholar All-Americans and 24 Academic All-NSIC honorees during Jackson’s three seasons on staff.

“When I started on my path in wrestling, I had no idea where this journey would take me,” Jackson said. “I am beyond excited and grateful to be named the next head wrestling coach at Southwest Minnesota State University. I would like to thank Bruce Saugstad, Allison Monson (SMSU Associate AD/Senior Woman Administrator), and the rest of the search committee for giving me this incredible opportunity to mentor and lead the young men at SMSU.”

Chayse Jackson

Prior to joining the staff at Minot State, Jackson spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Dubuque (2016-18) and one season as a volunteer assistant coach at Grand Canyon University (2015-16).

“I look forward to building on the foundation Coach Nelson has built and continuing this team’s trajectory into the top of Division II both athletically and academically,” Jackson said. “With a young team and the entire roster returning, I am optimistic we can make an immediate impact in the NSIC and at the national level. I can’t wait to saddle up with the team and get to work! #LetsRide.”

Jackson was a five-year member (2011-16) and two-time team captain for the Grand Canyon University wrestling program. He suffered a season-ending injury during his senior season and moved to the coaching ranks.

Jackson is 2015 graduate of Grand Canyon University with a degree in biology & pre-med with a minor in coaching. He earned his MBA at the University of Dubuque in 2018 and also a master’s degree in sports management at Minot State in 2020.

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