Learn about the latest Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association David Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees. The 2021 Fall Induction Dinner will take place on October 30th in Benson, Minn. Inductees will be Tom Campanaro, Mark Costello, Tom Gravalin, Gary Heydt, Don Krusemark, and Joel Skillings.
Click HERE for tickets and more information about the Induction Dinner.
Tom Campanaro, Contributor
Tom “Tommy” Campanaro attended Frank B. Kellogg High School graduating from there in 1968. Tom was a state entrant his senior year, competing at 138 pounds. Tom attended Itasca Community College and was a two-year starter, finishing with a record of 30-11. Tom wrestled at the University of Minnesota-Morris, where he was a starter at 150 pounds his senior year. Tom graduated from UM-Morris in 1972 with a B.S. in Physical Education.
Tom was the Head Coach at Bird Island High School from 1972-1976 and served as a graduate assistant for Colorado State University while earning his Master’s Degree. He was the head coach at Union High School in Oregon from 1978-1980. Tom went into the private sector from 1980-1994, then became an assistant wrestling coach at Cambridge-Isanti High School.
To date, Tom has mentored at least 162 All-Conference wrestlers, 86 state entrants, 51 state place winners, and six state champions. Tom was selected as the 7AAA Assistant Coach of the Year. Neil Jennissen, Head Coach of Cambridge-Isanti, writes, “As an Assistant Tom took care of the little things-tournament set up, athletic trainer, sparring partner, cleaning the bleachers, mopping the mats.” Former Cambridge-Isanti wrestler Ross Dankers calls Tommy “that steady rock that every perennial powerhouse program needs.” John Droubie, Dean of Students and Activities Coordinator for Cambridge-Isanti Middle School, calls Tom “my all-time best hire.” Tom has three children, Johanna, Samantha, and Maria.
Mark Costello, Athlete
Mark Costello attended Park Rapids High School graduating from there in 1972. He was a four-time Park Rapids Invitational Champion, four-time Mid-State Conference Champion, a four-time District Champion, a four-time Region Champion, and a four-time state tournament entrant. Mark placed fifth in 1969 at 98 pounds, third in 1970 at 103 pounds, and was a state champion in the 106-pound weight class in 1971 and 1972. His career record was 126-6-1 (95% winning percentage). Mark was a three-time letter winner in wrestling (freshmen were not eligible to letter). He was voted team Co-Captain his senior year. Mark also lettered in both Cross Country (three years) and Track (one year).
Mark attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from 1972-1976. Mark placed 2nd in the EIWA in 1975 and first in 1976, qualifying him for the NCAA Division 1 Tournament both years. He was voted team Co-Captain his senior year. As a senior, Mark earned D-1 All American honors with a 6th place finish. Mark was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the Academy in 1976. Mark continued to wrestle after college and earned an invitation to the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Training Camp/tryouts in 1980. Mark is married to Cindy (Riewer) Costello, who was born in Park Rapids in June 1954. Her family moved when she was three months old, when her father, in the Navy, was transferred. Mark and Cindy met at Pt Mugu Naval Base California in 1981. Mark was a Naval Officer attached to VX-4, a Test & Evaluation squadron, and Cindy was working at the naval base Supply Department; the rest is history. They married in August 1982 and still reside in Newbury Park, Calif. While they have no children, they enjoy lots of nieces, nephews, and now the greats. They both retired in 2009 at 55 and spend a lot of time traveling. They love to snow ski, hike, and camp (in tents) with a goal of visiting all of the National Parks. Their travel highlights include driving to Alaska (twice), Maine (once), visiting 47 National Parks, a cruise to Russia, and a recent cruise to see the sites of and walk on Antarctica. Mark and Cindy are probably on the road visiting someone or someplace(s) as they travel throughout the year.
Tom Gravalin, Coach
Tom Gravalin attended Moorhead High School, graduating from there in 1968. Tom played hockey until the 7th grade, then switched to basketball, and later wrestling. Thanks to his junior high industrial tech teacher and wrestling coach Vern Nolting’s encouragement, he pursued teaching and coaching. He wrestled at Moorhead State for two years and graduated in 1972 with a B.A. in teaching Industrial Arts. While in college, he coached a couple of years at Moorhead Central Junior High School. Upon graduation, he taught and coached at Erskine High School, then later took a job teaching and coaching in Fosston, where he spent the next 23 years teaching and coaching. He finished out his career in Fosston teaching and serving as Athletic Director until he retired in 2006. Tom’s coaching record was 136-121-4. He had 35 state entries, seven state place winners, and took the 1989-1990 team to the State Class A Duel Tournament, representing Region 8A. Several of Tom’s wrestlers went on to compete at the collegiate level, two of them earning All-American honors. Tom continued to give back to the sport, serving as the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Rep from 1999-2003 and the MSHSL Region 8A Section Representative from 1980-1994. Tom was the 1990 Section 8A Coach of the Year, and in 1995 received the Dean Fox Sportsmanship Award. He served as 8AA Tournament Director for 12 years.
Fosston eventually paired with Bagley in wrestling, and Tom helped to ensure a smooth transition. Tom is well-known for not only developing some outstanding wrestlers but good young men as well. His sportsmanship and integrity was and still is much appreciated amongst area coaches. Area coach Steve Bechtold wrote, “Tom was an excellent coach who stressed sportsmanship and integrity at all times.” Former Coach Jeff “Bro” Olsen said, “He made wrestling fun, never chewed out his wrestlers after a loss, and always had a kind word to say about the opposing wrestlers.” Tom’s longtime assistant Al “Swede” Olson wrote, “Tom was challenging young men to conduct themselves as good students and good athletes. His ultimate goal was to have a young man become a better wrestler and a better person when he left the program. Area coach Bob Thorson referred to Tom as a “class act and a gentleman who produced good wrestlers and even better men.” Tom is married to Linda, and they have two kids – Collin and Ashley, along with four grandkids – Zoe, Theo, Clara, and Jack.
Gary Heydt, Contributor, Officials
Gary attended Hayfield High School, graduating from there in 1980. He participated in wrestling and baseball. Gary was All-Conference in baseball as well as a five-year letter winner in wrestling and a two-time state entrant, placing third his senior year. Hayfield has a very rich tradition of outstanding teams and wrestlers, and Gary was one of the first. He attended Winona State University. Gary’s high school career record was 106-25-4.
He has served as a wrestling official for 37 years. He currently officiates in Minnesota and Iowa. He has been on the SMWOA board for over 20 years and represented the officials on the Clash board the first few years of the tournament. He is well-known not only for being an excellent official but an excellent mentor as well. Gary served as a youth and assistant varsity coach in Hayfield, working with Coaches Dave Erickson and Mark Voyce.
Rick Rud, SMWOA Director, wrote, “Gary has been selected to officiate the MSHSL State Tournament for 20 years and worked multiple state championship meets and matches. He has been inducted into the Region One Hall of Fame.” Jerry Reker, fellow official, wrote, “Gary has developed very positive relationships during this time span with wrestlers, coaches, parents, fans, and other officials. He is a highly respected official that has also provided mentoring for our new and younger officials.”
Bill Olson, fellow official, wrote, “If you watch a Gary Heydt officiated match you will see how a professional operates: quietly and flawlessly, always in position and completely in control of both the wrestlers and the coaching staffs, making for an enjoyable experience for the wrestlers and the fans at the event.” Paul Fishbaugher, fellow official, wrote, “As a younger official growing up through the ranks, Gary unknowingly provided me with so many attributes that I use to this day with new officials that I mentor. I use him as an example for them to watch and learn from. His ability to stay calm in heated situations is absolutely second to none. His knowledge of the sport, ability to position himself correctly, and the respect he’s earned from coaches, fans, and athletes is truly inspiring to any official, let alone the rookies. “Former Hayfield Head Coach Dave Erickson wrote, “Gary helped set the bar for good officiating in the 1980s, 1990s, and today. His role in officiating has helped to attract other young individuals to take up the duties of a wrestling official and helped our sport grow.”
Gary is married to Linette. They live in Clear Lake, Iowa, and have two children – Ashley Coleman (with husband, Shea) and Andrew Heydt (with wife Jill). Gary and Linette have four grandchildren – Lauryn, Mikha, Gabriela, and Beckham.
Don Krusemark, Coach
Don Krusemark attended Blue Earth High School, graduating from there in 1974. He attended Rochester Community College and earned an Associate Degree in 1976. He continued his studies at Indiana State University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Health Education. He obtained his Masters of Science in Health Education from Winona State in 1987. While in high school, Don was voted Most Valuable Athlete in 1974, along with his twin brother David. Don was a three-sport captain. (football, wrestling, and baseball)
In college, Don was a two-time state junior college champ and NJCAA qualifier. At Indiana State University, he shared the Indiana State University Athlete of the Year Award with NBA legend Larry Bird. Don continued training at Winona, and in 1981 he was the USWF State Champ for the Winona Wrestling Club. He was a five-time Minnesota State Senior Open Champ. One of Don’s biggest matches was in 1980 when he defeated 1972 Olympian Gary Neist 8-2. Don began teaching and coaching at Amboy-Good Thunder High School in 1978. He taught at Byron, MN from 1979-1987, then taught at Mankato West in 1987, where he is still teaching (35th year). Don’s coaching record was 415-286-3. He retired from coaching in 2011, and his record was 15th all-time in Minnesota (now 25th). His 2000 team was crowned Section 2AA champs. He was named Section Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2000. Don coached two state champions and numerous state place winners and entrants. Several former wrestlers competed at the collegiate level, with two earning All-American honors.
Don gave back to the sport in other ways. He helped as the Section Seeding Manager from 2012-2017. He served as the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Section Rep from 1999-2009. He was on the Administrative Region 2AA Advisory Committee, as well as the MSHSL Advisory Board Member. He worked the floor of the MSHSL State Tournament, and he helped with live-stream announcing. Don coached softball, football, and baseball. His softball teams were finalists three times and won a state title in 2016. Don’s wife is Beth, and they have four kids – Brady, Brittany, Chelsey, and Mariah. They also have eight grandkids – Ben, Anna, Isaac, Connor, Grayson, Holden, Lincoln, and Noah.
Joel Skillings, Coach
Joel Skillings attended Clarissa High School, graduating from there in 1980. While in high school, Joel participated in football, track, and wrestling. Joel was all-conference in football.
Joel attended Moorhead State and earned a BS Degree in Physical Education and Health Education plus coaching. Upon graduating in 1984, Joel took a job in New Town High School from 1984-1988 on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. He took the job in Minneota in 1988, and he continued to teach and coach there for 35 years until he retired in 2019. He took over a program that was in danger of being cut, and he literally had to beg for one more year. Teams were dropping Minneota from schedules. Joel continued to work and build a program, and his efforts, along with his assistants, developed one of the most respectable programs in the state of Minnesota. Joel’s record from coaching 559-197-4 ranks 8th all-time in Minnesota. His teams have won 8 section titles and in 2015 won the Class A state title. Joel gives a lot of the credit to his assistants. Les Engler, who coached with Joel for 26 years, said, “Joel has always stressed that the only reason we are coaching is for the kids and the program. I’m amazed at the time he put in not only during the season but the off-season as well.” Bryce Bruner, a Minnesota State Champ under Joel’s direction, said, “Coach Skillings always looked out for his wrestlers and was willing to help them in any way he could. During practice, if he could see we were having some personal problems at home or with a girlfriend or with school, he would take us out of the wrestling room and talk to us and try to help in any way he could. I owe a lot of the success I’ve had to him.”
Former Benson Wrestling Coach Steve Ricard wrote, “Joel Skillings took a program that was in danger of being paired and transformed it into a state caliber program to be reckoned with even on a “down year” and there haven’t been too many of those. As a young head coach, I watched with interest as Joel’s teams did the little things right. They were tough on the edge of the mat, very solid defensively, and didn’t get out of position very often. He was a master of lineups, knowing the opposition as well as anyone I have ever seen. He coached his kids, not the officials. Joel pushed his teams very hard, but he did so out of love and respect for his wrestlers. He knew that at the end of the season where they needed to be. His wrestlers always seemed to respond well to his intensity. Minneota has a very small gym, and wrestling there was like wrestling in the lion’s den. I have a lot of respect for Joel and his staff. He surrounded himself with coaches that stayed with him, and the key to any program is consistency. Minneota’s program is living proof of that. Joel always takes the time, off the mat, to ask me about my family. Not everyone in today’s world of coaching does that. We need more people like Joel in the coaching ranks. He rode out some pretty “tough to find a win” seasons. I watched him gut it out, and it has proven to pay off in a huge way. “
In addition to wrestling, Joel coached football for many years and helped the football team win several Little Sioux conference titles and make state appearances in 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 2010. There were state champs in 1988 and 2009 and runners-up in 2010. Joel’s teams were Academic State Champions in football and wrestling in 1997 and 1998. Joel gave back and continues to give back to wrestling in a number of ways. He was a section rep for the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association, served as MWCA President in 2019, and has been a director and clinician for J Robinson Camps from 1998 to the present. Joel is currently serving as Head Assistant Coach at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. Joel states, “None of this would have ever happened without my wife Jacquelyn. She was the best support system, coach, and motivator in the family. “Joel and his wife Jackie (deceased) have three children – Ashely, Tanner, and Christian, and two grand-daughters, Aria and Nola.