On Saturday, April 23rd the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter held their annual Honors Banquet. The celebration was held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn. The banquet room was packed and included many former Hall of Fame inductees.
Inductees for the Lifetime Service Award were Steve Carr, Bill Germann, Jim Harstad, Mike Hendrickson, Dan Jinks, Don Krusemark, Jerry Reker, Chuck Siefert, and Joel Skillings.
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.
Read program biographies of the latest inductees below.
Photos by Jeff Beshey.
Steve Carr, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Truly one of Minnesota High School Wrestling’s “All-Time” greatest wrestlers was Steve Carr. Carr was a 4-time Minnesota High School Wrestling State Champion, winning three Class A Titles at Battle Lake High School and one Class AA Title for Moorhead High School. Carr accumulated an overall high school career record of 175 wins and only 5 losses, with 102 pins. His consecutive wins of 129 stood as a Minnesota High School State record for 22 years. He was only the second 4-time State wrestling Champion in State History, going back as far as 1940. Steve’s 175 wins were 2nd nationally at the time, two wins shy of the national record.
Carr was also named to Amateur Wrestling News ‘All-American Dream Team.” The Minnesota State Legislature passed a Resolution in 1979 recognizing Steve’s incredible high school wrestling career. Steve was an outside linebacker and running back on Battle Lake’s Class C State Championship Team in 1977. Battle Lake had a 27-game win streak during Steve’s 3-years as a starter at outside linebacker. Steve was a Captain and Battle Lake’s first 1000-yard running back on the 1978 Class C State Runner-up team. Also, WCCO Radio named Steve to the Minnesota All-State Football team in 1978 as a running back/linebacker.
From High School, Steve attended Iowa State University on a wrestling scholarship. His very first year, as a “true freshman” Steve placed 4th in the highly touted Big 8 Conference. He was also named to Amateur Wrestling News D1 Freshman All-Star Team.
Carr then transferred to North Dakota State School of Science, where he captured a National Junior College Championship in 1982. From there he attended North Dakota State University where he was an NCCA Div. II National Champion in 1983, and 4th place All-American in 1984. His overall career record was an outstanding 132-38-2. He was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990. After graduating from college at NDSU in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, he attained a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from the Tri-College University in Fargo, ND. Steve then entered the “Coaching World”. He started as an Assistant Coach at NDSU (1984-85) and then as Head Coach at Frazee High School, where he led Frazee to their 1st State Team tournament in 1987. He was then named Head Coach at the University of MN – Morris from 1987-91. Then Assistant Coach at Battle Lake HS – (1991-93). Steve then became Director/Manager at Perham Area Community Center from 1993-1997. He also was an assistant coach at Perham HS in 1995-96, and at Mahtomedi HS as an assistant from 2008-2014. Steve is currently a Sales Representative for Wilson Company Marketing & Promotion, Inc. over the past 24 years. (1998-2022).
Many honors have been bestowed on Steve Carr over the years. He was voted Section 4AA “Assistant Coach of the Year” in 2012. Inducted into the North Dakota State University “Hall of Fame” in 2011; North Dakota State School of Science Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. Team Captain of both North Dakota State University and North Dakota State School of Science wrestling teams; Sports Illustrated Magazine’s – Award of Merit for his High School Career, Minnesota All-Time High School “Dream Team” for the years 1937-1997 by USA/MN Wrestling. Steve’s partner for the past 15 years is Sheila Allen, and he has two sons Shea and Quinn.
Steve’s record speaks for itself, one of Minnesota High School’s All-Time greatest ever! Congratulations to Steve Carr and his induction to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Minnesota Chapter.
Bill Germann, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Bill Germann was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. His parents, Hedwig and William Germann, were German immigrants who came to this country in search of a better life. Bill’s dad was drafted and served in the US Army during World War II from 1941-45 working as an interpreter. He was stationed first in Salinas, California, and later in Portland, Oregon where Bill’s older sister, Hedy was born in 1944. After the war, the family moved back to Brooklyn, where Bill’s younger sister Barbara was born in 1949. In Bill’s early elementary years, the family left the city and moved to Wantagh on Long Island. Bill attended a catholic grade school and then Wantagh High School.
Bill started soccer and wrestling in ninth grade and continued throughout high school, lettering in both. Bill attributes much of his success to his high school wrestling coaches Joe Marcino, Steve Babyak, and his great teammates. Some highlights of his high school wrestling career were being elected a Tri-captain and placing 2nd in the 1965 single-class New York State Tournament at 115 pounds.
Bill was recruited by Minnesota State University – Moorhead Hall of Fame coaches Bill Garland and Al Holmes. He graduated with a degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1969. While attending MSUM, he was a three-time NIC Conference Champion @ 130 lbs and a two-time NAIA All-American on powerhouse teams that included an NAIA team championship. Bill was also elected a team captain his senior year. Once again, much of Bill’s success can be credited to talented coaches and teammates, many of whom are in the NWHOF from their home states.
Upon graduating, Bill returned to Long Island to teach Physical Education and coach wrestling in the Valley Stream School District. At the completion of the school year, Bill was drafted into the US Army and served in Vietnam as an infantryman with the 1st Cavalry Division Co C 2nd Battalion from 1970-72. After his tour of duty, he married his college sweetheart Linda and they have been happily married for fifty years. Bill and Linda returned to Long Island, where both taught in the Hampton Bays School District from 1972-74. While there, Bill coached 9th-grade baseball, served as the head soccer coach, and started the first wrestling program at the school.
In 1974, he and his wife returned to Minnesota and took teaching positions in the Eden Prairie School District. Bill taught Physical Education and Health at the middle school and also coached junior high football and wrestling from 1974-77. He started the first soccer program at Eden Prairie in 1979 and was the head coach until 1982. He continued to coach JV soccer until his retirement in 2006. Bill was the head wrestling coach at Eden Prairie from 1977-98.
As much as he enjoyed coaching soccer, wrestling remained his true passion. He always said you can play a lot of other sports but you can’t “play” wrestling – it takes a unique combination of grit, tenacity, and skill.
During his tenure, his teams won five conference championships, one regional title, and many regional runners-up. Bill’s 1985-86 team won the region and took 3rd place in the MSHSL AA Dual Tournament. Bill coached Eden Prairie’s first State Wrestling Champion (Nick Ledin) in 1998. He stepped down from the head coaching position in 1998 but continued to coach the 9th-grade program until his retirement in 2006. Over 32 years at Eden Prairie High School, Bill had a career coaching record of 196-132-6.
Linda and Bill have two daughters and four granddaughters: Callie (Craig) Burris, daughters Emily and Isabella; and Lezlie (Rich) Tooley, daughters Finley and Signe.
Bill credits his coaching success to the excellent assistant coaches he has worked with over the years and the countless hours and sacrifices made by wrestlers, team managers, parents, and others – all of whom made this a most enjoyable time in his life.
Jim Harstad, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Jim Harstad is the son of Gordy & Joyce (Woolery) Harstad, born in 1956 in Madison, MN (Marietta) He has Four siblings, Mary (Seurer), Mark, Joy (Landaluce), and Jill (Urdahl).
Jim started his wrestling career in Minot, ND in 7th grade with Outstanding coaches just out of college at Minot State. (Dwight Ormeson, Al Alstad & Charlie Swan) They were great technicians & motivators, they drilled us the Sugar foot stance for Offensive Wrestling from the feet. Jim’s family moved to St. Cloud before his 9th-grade season, where he played Football and Wrestled for legendary Coach Jim Kiffmeyer from 1970-1974 at St. Cloud Tech High School. In the Fall of 1973, Jim was named to the All-Metro football team as Middle Linebacker by the St. Cloud Daily Times. Jim was a Three-time finalist in District 19 and Champion in 1974 at 145 lbs. Jim placed Third in the One class State Tournament in 1974. Jim went on to St. Cloud State (Currently they are a National NCAA Div. II Wrestling power, Winning Six of the Seven National Championship Titles-Under Head Coach Steve Costanzo & Brady Wilson) to further his Education & Wrestling for the Huskies under Hall of Fame Coach John Oxton. Jim Was a Three-time NIC finalist at 167 & 158 lbs, from 1977-1979. In 1979 Jim was the Conference Champion and an NCAA Div. II All American at 158 lbs for the Huskies. Winning in the Blood Round was a proud moment for Jim, with his father and brother Mark in the crowd at the UNI-Dome. Our Husky Teams were also NIC Champions in 1976, 1977, & 1978. Jim was the Outstanding Wrestler on the 1978 Team and Captain of the 1977-78 & 1978-1979 Teams. “I am very thankful for the many great teachers, coaches, and mentors I have had over my wrestling career! The late Tom Keating of Foley was my Freestyle and Greco-Roman when I qualified for the 1974 Minnesota Culture Exchange Team to Wrestle in Sweden and Finland. My Coaches & Teammates taught me that Wrestling is a Strong Brotherhood full of Life lessons, and it has made a big difference in my life!”
After college, Jim taught Special Education for three years in St. Cloud, he then turned his full-time focus to building an Amway business with his wife Julie for 28 years, 14 years at the Diamond Rank, while teaching success and business principles to over 1 million people around the world. For the past 14 years, Jim has been the owner of Winning Big Consulting, teaching on principles of God, Country, Family, Free Enterprise!! Helping young business owners to get on the right track with their families and business.
Jim’s family are his real blessings in his life, with his beautiful wife Julie (Shekleton) a farm girl from Murdock, MN, and their five children. Ages 18-37 (Julianne and Lane, Christina and Emerson, Jimmy and Chelsea, Brianna, and Johnny. Jim and Julie married in 1982. “Julie is a great life and business partner, wife, and mommy for our five children over these past 40 years! We also have our first grandbaby (Callie) born to Christy and Emerson a few months ago! My passion over the past 40 years is to help people to build strong family units! To be the best they can be in God’s Kingdom.”
Some of Jim’s other achievements are being Inducted into the St. Cloud State University Athletic Hall of Fame for Wrestling in 2000, and the St. Cloud Tech High School Athletic Hall of Fame for being a three-sport Athlete (Football, Wrestling, and Baseball) in 2004. Jim was also named and honored with the 2017 Youth Football Coach of the Year Award by the Positive Coaching Alliance in 2017.
Jim was a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force in the Orono School District to pass a $40 million dollar referendum in 2008. Jim has served as a board member of the Orono Football and Wrestling Clubs, as well as the SCSU Wrestling Booster Club. Jim and Julie were awarded the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award by Eniva Corporation in 2010 for their Leadership and Serving others first spirit.
Jim is very Thankful for what the great sport of wrestling has instilled in him over the years to “help and guide me in my Life and Business. 1) Having a Coach/Mentors in your Life. 2) Discipline over your Mind, Body, and Soul. 3) To Work Hard and Dream Big, setting Goals to push yourself to achieve worthwhile goals & dreams 4) Getting knocked down in life and getting back up wiser and stronger than ever 5) How to Manage your time for God, Country, Family and your Business with balance. 6) uplifting others with Words of Encouragement to be in their calling and staying strong in their life. 7) Being Thankful, Joyful, and Being your best for your Teammates, Coaches, and Family!! Learning what my Parents taught me were Not old fashion, But Timeless Principles.”
Final thoughts on this great honor of The Outstanding American Award today, “I love the United States of America and the Beacon of Hope is shines around the world. (Freedom is never Free, there is always a price to pay) and I love the great sport of wrestling! It has been a great Foundation in my life. Thank you for this honor, ” Jim Harstad
Mike Hendrickson, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Mike Hendrickson began his Varsity wrestling career for the Morris Tigers in 1977 as an eighth-grader. He was coached by his father, National Hall of Fame, and Dave Bartelma Hall of Famer, Alan Hendrickson. As a senior, Mike was a runner-up in the 1982 MSHSL State Tournament. He continued his wrestling career at the University of Minnesota Morris while wrestling for the late Craig Olsen. At Morris, Mike earned NAIA All-American honors in 1986. In doing so, he helped the Cougars reach their highest ever team place at the National Tournament in Minot, ND. At UMM Mike earned his elementary education degree and coaching certificate.
After graduation, Mike got a teaching job in Little Falls. During his 34-year teaching career there, he taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. Mike coached wrestling for 34 years, football for 15 years, cross country for 15 years, and baseball for 8 years. His wife Allison, a native of Little Falls, is also a teacher. She and Mike’s 2 daughters were always very supportive of his extracurricular activities. One of Mike’s greatest pleasures was coaching his daughters, Mattia and Kendal, in cross country.
At Little Falls, Mike was able to emulate two great wrestling coaches. They were Dave Bartelma Hall of Famer Bill Hubbard and Ben Bendson. The two former Head coaches were instrumental in starting and then developing a strong wrestling tradition in Little Falls. Mike took it upon himself to continue that legacy started by these two gentlemen.
Over the years Mike was fortunate to work with many great assistant coaches. They all shared in the mantra that became Flyer wrestling. “Nothing in life worth fighting for is easy. You need to earn your victories. Good things happen to people that work hard!” Coach Hendrickson’s vision for the Flyer program was to create something kids would be proud to have been involved in. He takes great pride in seeing the many former Flyer wrestlers who come back each year to the wrestling room because they miss being a part of something special. He also sees it in his coaching staff. They have been mostly Flyer alumni that chose to continue to be a part of the program.
In Coach Hendrickson’s 34 years at Little Falls, he coached wrestling at all levels including elementary, middle school, and high school. Mike was the Head coach for the last 25 years of his career. His teams recorded over 400 victories during his tenure, and they earned 3 State team appearances. Their highest finish was 4th place in 2006. Mike was named AA State Coach of the Year in 2006. Individually, he coached over 80 State entrants and 21 State medalists including 6 finalists. Currently, Mike is a wrestling official with the St. Cloud Official’s Association.
Dan Jinks, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Dan Jinks, son of Al and Marion Jinks was born and raised in Grand Rapids Minnesota with three sisters, Susan, Barbara, and Mellissa. While growing up, Dan’s parents understood and appreciated athletics and what it offered young people. Their support and encouragement were tremendous.
While attending Grand Rapids High School Dan was a three-sport athlete. In track, he was a three-time letter winner throwing the shot and discus. Dan was also a three-time letter winner in football. He captained the football team his senior year and earned All-Conference honors as a Defensive Tackle. In wrestling, Dan had the privilege of wrestling for legendary Hall of Fame coach Skip Nalan. Earning 2 letters, and capping off his senior year with a Region Championship and State Tournament berth. After graduation in 1973, Dan attended Moorhead State College. While there he lettered in both football and wrestling. Dan graduated in 1978 with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Health Education and Physical Education.
In 1978 Dan took a job in Ellsworth Minnesota as a Physical Education and Health Education teacher. His coaching duties included Asst. Track, Asst. Football and Head Wrestling. And if that was not enough, also taught drivers education.
In 1980 Dan accepted a position back in his hometown of Grand Rapids. He taught Elementary Physical Education and Adaptive Physical Education. He also served as Asst. Track, Asst. Football and Asst. Wrestling coach. Upon Skip Nalan’s retirement in 1984, Dan assumed the Head Wrestling job at Grand Rapids High School.
Dan was the Head Coach at Grand Rapids for 30 seasons. One of his greatest highlights during that time was having both his son and daughter involved in the program with him. His son Jacob captained the 1999 team and won a section championship that season. Daughter Jennifer was a team manager for 7 seasons.
Dan Jinks becomes the ninth member of the storied Grand Rapids High School Wrestling Program to be inducted into this elite Hall of Fame. Dan is the all-time winningest coach in Grand Rapids wrestling history with a record of 416-196-3. He coached 115 individual state qualifiers, 48 individual state place winners, and 6 individual state champions. His teams won 14 Conference championships and 8 section team titles. His team was a state runner-up in 1987. Seven of Dan’s wrestlers went on to earn All-American honors at the collegiate level.
Dan was named Section Coach of the Year 9 times. He served as Section 7AAA Representative for 9 years, from 1987-1996. In 2005-2006 Dan served as President of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.
Dan was inducted into the Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame in October 2020.
Longtime friend Steve Lynch wrote “his kids wrestled hard for him. The bonds he formed as a coach and leader influenced many kids on the edge of school and society to stick with the sport. And a great many of them have successful stories to tell of their time in Jinks’ room”.
Dan states, “All I ever wanted to do was to give something back to a sport that has given me so much”. He retired from the sport in 2017 after 36 years of coaching.
Dan enjoys hunting, boating, and fishing. He resides at his lake home in Bowstring Township Minnesota with the love of his life Lori. He has two children that he is extremely proud of, a son Jacob (wife Stacy), and a daughter Jennifer (husband Chad).
Don Krusemark, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Don Krusemark, along with his identical twin brother David, was born in May 1956 in Blue Earth, MN to Ruth and Leslie Krusemark. Don graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1974. There, he was involved in football and baseball as well as wrestling. Don participated in the state football tournament in 1972, the state baseball tournament in 1973, and the state wrestling tournament in 1974. He was a 2x South Central Conference wrestling champion, 2x District 5 champion, and 1x Section 2 champion. The 1974 Buccaneer wrestling team finished 3rd in the state in a one-class system. While in high school, Don was voted Most Valuable Athlete in 1974, along with his twin brother David. Don was a three-sport captain, including football, wrestling, and baseball.
After high school, Don attended Rochester Community College and earned an Associate Degree in 1976. He continued his studies at Indiana State University (ISU) 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.
In college, Don was a 2x state junior college champion, junior college Regional champion, and 2x NJCAA qualifier. At Indiana State University, he shared the Indiana State University “Athlete of the Year” Award with NBA legend, Larry Bird. Don was named a captain his senior year at ISU and also was named the “Maurice Bosstick Award’’ winner, deeming him the most valuable wrestler as a senior! He was a Ball State and Indiana State tournament champion and was a runner-up at the Cleveland State and Michigan State Invitationals. Don’s combined college record was 84-28.
After college, Don continued training at Winona, and in 1981, he was the United States Wrestling Federation State Champion for the Winona Wrestling Club. He was a five-time Minnesota State Senior Open Champion in addition to a three-time State Senior Team champion. One of Don’s biggest matches was in 1980 when he defeated 1972 Olympian Gary Neist 8-2. Don also added tournament titles at the Rochester Community College Open twice and the Forest Lake Open.
Don began teaching and coaching at Amboy-Good Thunder High School in 1978. He taught health, physical education, and driver’s education and was an assistant football coach and the head wrestling coach. In March 1979, under Don’s coaching, Amboy-Good Thunder wrestling qualified their first-ever wrestler to the state tournament.
After one year at Amboy-Good Thunder high school, Don and his wife, Beth, moved to Byron where he taught health and physical education from 1979-1987. In addition to his teaching duties, Don coached varsity football and was the head wrestling and head softball coach. In Don’s final two years there, Byron wrestling lost only one dual meet each year for a combined record of 22-2. Both losses were to perennial power, Goodhue.
In 1987, Don and his family moved to Mankato and replaced the legendary Luverne Klar, at Mankato West High School. In addition to his wrestling duties, Don was a football coach from 1987-1995 (head coach 1989-1993,) the varsity assistant baseball coach from 1989-2000, and the head softball coach (23 years and still counting.) Don is currently in his 35th year of teaching at Mankato West and 44th year of teaching overall.
His 2000 Mankato West wrestling team was crowned Section 2AA champions. He was named District 3 Coach of the Year in 1986 and Section 2 Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2000. Don coached two state champions, five state finalists, and numerous state place winners and entrants. Several former wrestlers competed at the collegiate level, with two earning All-American honors. Don’s high school coaching record stands at 415-286-3. He retired from coaching wrestling in 2011, and his record was 15th all-time in Minnesota (now 25th.) Don was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling “David Bartelma” Hall of Fame in 2021. In addition, Don was inducted into the “Mankato Area Softball” Hall of Fame in 2011.
Don’s wrestling journey was greatly influenced by four “Hall of Fame” coaches. First, Dick Maher (Blue Earth) was instrumental in introducing the sport to Don. In fifth grade, Coach Maher had the Krusemark twins wrestle in a junior high meet, and the rest is history. Don was hooked on the sport, not just for a day or season, but for a lifetime. The second “Hall of Fame” coach was John Philo (Rochester Community College.) Coach Philo showed Don how to be a college wrestler, and how to elevate his game as he transitioned from a high school wrestler to a college athlete. The final two “Hall of Fame” coaches that greatly influenced Don’s wrestling career were Fran McCann (Indiana State) and Jim Tannehill (Indiana State). Coach McCann gave Don the opportunity to realize a dream. The dream was to wrestle Division I and compete against the best programs in the nation. Their influence and guidance were instrumental in Don’s wrestling and coaching career.
As previously mentioned, Don has coached many other sports, including football (17 years,) baseball (12 years,) and softball (23 years.) Don’s softball teams have participated in three state finals along with one State Championship in 2016. Don has been named Big Nine Softball “Coach of the Year” eight times, Section “Coach of the Year” five times, and State Softball “Coach of the Year” one time.
Don gave back to the sport of wrestling in other ways. He helped as the Section Seeding Manager from 2012-2017. He served as the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Section Representative from 1999-2009. He was on the Administrative Region 2AA Advisory Committee, as well as the MSHSL Advisory Board. He worked the floor of the MSHSL State Tournament, and he helped with live-stream announcing.
Wrestling is truly a family affair, and Don’s family was no different. Some of his proudest moments were getting to coach his son, Brady, and to have his three daughters, Brittany, Chelsey, and Mariah, a part of the program as managers and statisticians. In addition to running her own daycare business, Don’s wife, Beth, did everything from sewing singlets to singing the national anthem at home meets and tournaments. Beth was the rock that kept the family functioning while being a single parent throughout the winter months. All four of their children are teachers, with Brady at Mankato West, Brittany at Kennedy Elementary in Mankato, Chelsey in Mounds View, and Mariah in St. James.
Don and Beth boast eight grandchildren: Brady (Kristin) Ben, Anna, Isaac; Brittany (Chris) Connor, Grayson, Holden, Lincoln; Chelsey (Nate) Noah, Olive.
Jerry Reker, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Jerry Reker is the second of 8 siblings. He attended Fulda High School (Class of 1970) and participated in wrestling, football, baseball, and track. His senior year he finished third in the Region wrestling tournament at 165 under the one-class system with no true second matches. 9th grade was the first time he had wrestled or watched a match. He attended Southwest Minnesota State University completing a Bachelor of Science in Physical and Health Education. Jerry was a four-year starter and letter winner in both wrestling and football at SMSU. He was the President of the Lettermen’s Club and was in charge of running the concession stand. He was First-Team All-Conference in both sports and was the first All-American wrestler from SMSU. He also had a professional football tryout with the Minnesota Vikings in 1975. He completed his Masters and Sixth Year degrees in Educational Administration at Mankato State University.
Jerry taught Physical and Health Education and coached wrestling, football, and baseball in Logan, Iowa from 1975-1982. He returned to Minnesota where he coached wrestling for Grand Meadow-LeRoy Ostrander (GMLO) from 1982-1986 and football from 1982-1993. He moved to Wabasha-Kellogg and coached football from 1993-1998.
His overall head football coaching record was 94-45, with a State Class C Runner Up at Grand Meadow in 1987, and coached the Minnesota All-Star Out-State team in 1990. He has taken more than 15 wrestlers to the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament from 1982-1986 with a team record of 33-11, and 30 wrestlers to the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament from 1975-1982 with a team record of 70-2-1. His overall wrestling coaching record was 103-13-1. He has been very involved in many elementary/youth wrestling programs as a coach and an official.
Jerry wrestled competitively in Folkstyle Old Timers Tournaments throughout the Midwest from 1976-1985 compiling a 96-2 record with 8 outstanding wrestler awards. He wrestled for a team out of Omaha, Nebraska with and against many National Champions and All-Americans.
Jerry started officiating wrestling in 1985 and has continued for 36 years. He is still active as an official mentoring young officials and has served in the capacity of head clinician for the Southern Minnesota Wrestling Officials Association. Jerry has been selected to officiate in 25 Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournaments and is consistently rated as one of the top officials in the state.
Jerry is a member of the inaugural Southwest Minnesota State University Hall of Fame, Mayo Civic Center and Region One Hall of Fame, Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association, National Wrestling Officials Association, Intercollegiate College Wrestling Officials Association, Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame, Minnesota State High School League Distinguished Service Award, and was recognized in 2005 and 2007 as the Section 1AA and Section 1A Official of the Year.
He has worked many NCAA National Tournaments and Qualifiers (Division 1, 2, 3, and JUCO) and is regarded as one of the top NCAA wrestling officials in Minnesota. He is currently a Big Ten and NCAA Official/Evaluator and is working some High School matches.
Jerry’s ability to work well and communicate with others, be a team player and remain dedicated to students and student-athletes assisted him in his forty-year career in School Administration and Education. He was a High School Principal and Superintendent in Minnesota for a total of thirty-five years.
Jerry’s leadership and service has been demonstrated through his MSHSL, Region, and Section Committee, and Advisory Board contributions. He represented the MSHSL wrestling officials/administrators working with the Minnesota Department of Health to develop guidelines for controlling infections among athletes and serving as an MSHSL Clinician. He was a member of the MSHSL and Iowa Wrestling Advisory Boards for 10 years.
Jerry’s wife’s name is Darc and they have 3 adult children, Ryan (Sara), Jon (Heather), and Racquel, and 4 beautiful granddaughters, Regan (16), Stella (9), Vayda (6), and Eila (1). Jerry loves to spend time with his family and friends, bike, and work out!! He is usually seen wearing wrestling logo clothing and is always busy!
Chuck Siefert, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Chuck Siefert grew up on a farm just outside of Goodhue, MN. Farm boys work hard and long hours (without pay) and develop a strong work ethic. The Siefert farm was mostly dairy, but you would also find chickens, pigs, sheep, ducks, horses, a goat, and geese. And a huge garden!
A graduate of Goodhue High School, Chuck participated in Band, Choir, FFA, FFA Crops Team, Class Play, Yearbook Production, Track, Football, and Wrestling. He was Football MVP, Senior Class President, and Homecoming King. But not on the National Honor Society.
Chuck wrestled for HOF Coach Leo Simon for 2 years and HOF Coach Bill Sutter for 2 years. He, Rick Ryan, and Larry Lexvold were Captains of the Wrestling Team. He, along with Andy Eggerichs, and Jim Mollenhauer were the Captains of the Football Team. As a Defensive lineman, Chuck scored 2 touchdowns his senior year.
After failing his physical for military service, Chuck continued his wrestling and football careers at Rochester State Junior College. He wrestled for HOF Coach John Philo and was a 2X MJCAA State Champion at Heavyweight. He earned NJCAA All-American honors in football being coached by legendary Coach Cy Champa.
Chuck was offered a Full ride Scholarship to play football at Div I Weber State College, of Ogden, Utah. He also wrestled, placing third at Heavyweight in the Big Sky Conference in 1974. Chuck transferred to St Cloud State College and played his senior year of Football, and then wrestled for HOF Coach John Oxton. He earned NCAA Div II All-American honors at 190 lbs. Chuck also won the 1976 Regional Olympic Trials in Freestyle and was Runner-up in Greco-Roman at 100K that year.
While at St Cloud, Chuck also worked as a prison guard for 1 1⁄2 years.
He started his teaching/coaching career at Byron High School in 1977 (nicknamed “The Warden” by the football team) and was there for 2 years before taking over the wrestling program at Rochester Community College. He also at that time, along with new HOF Inductee, Jim Harstad, bought the Minnesota Mat Refinishing Company from HOF Coach Roy Minter (who had bought it from HOF Coach John Philo). Chuck and Jim traveled the state of Minnesota repairing mats, and meeting many coaches and wrestlers. Their travels took them to all parts of the state including Greenbush, Pipestone, and Caledonia. Chuck sold Minnesota Mat Refinishing Company in the early 1980s to HOF member Spencer Yohe, who still owns and operates it today!
HOF member, Dewaine Silker, pushed Chuck into becoming a wrestling official. They were able to form an association called TWO, The Wrestling Officials, and started advocating the need for two officials for all matches.
Chuck earned his Master’s Degree from Winona State University in Health Education, to be able to teach at the collegiate level. He is proud of the fact that he was able to convince Pepsi to sponsor the World’s first Pepsi wrestling mat. Pepsi Sales Manager, Randy Fogelson, was able to incorporate that idea into many mats when schools were seeking sponsorships.
At Rochester Community College, Chuck earned numerous awards for Wrestling including MCCC Coach of The Year, NJCAA Region XIII Coach of The Year, and NJCAA Man of The Year. In Football he was named NJCAA National Defensive Coordinator of the year in 1999. As Head Football Coach in 2000, he led the Football Team to a perfect 12-0 record. The Yellowjackets were voted NJCAA Div III National Champions. Chuck was awarded MCCC Coach of The Year, Region XIII Coach of The Year, and NJCAA Div III Coach of The Year.
Chuck, along with the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission (RASC), was the driving force in bringing the NJCAA National Wrestling Championships to Rochester. Chuck was the Tournament Director of those National Championships for the 12 years they were hosted by Rochester. RASC, led by Ed Hruska, also created The Clash, National High School Duals. The Clash was designed to bring the top wrestling teams from different states together to battle it out and bring “room nights” to the City of Rochester, one of the primary goals of the RASC. It was meant to be a classy event treating Wrestling Coaches, Teams, and Fans to the best wrestling experience of their season. The legendary Coaches’ hospitality room was a huge bonus as local restaurants catered to the coaching staffs and the army of volunteers. Out-of-town teams were assigned a host to help them maneuver around town and take care of any special needs or concerns. The Clash “raised the bar” for wrestling tournaments around the nation.
Chuck, Rick Ties, Steve Ihrke, Al Chihak, Steve Patton, Dean Nelson, and Mike Busch formed the Southeast Minnesota Wrestling Coalition (SEMWREC) and took over the running of The Clash, and were instrumental in bringing to Rochester, the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, the Border Battle (SE MN Seniors vs Northern Iowa Seniors and Western WI Seniors), took over Section I T-Shirt sales (with proceeds going to scholarships for Section I wrestlers competing in College Wrestling), Northern Quad, The Clash Camp (bringing top Clinicians like Jordan Boroughs, Jayson Ness, Zach Sanders, Ben Berhow, Damian Hahn, Luke Becker, Jared Lawrence, and others) to our local SE Minnesota wrestlers, and Section I Seniors Banquet (with Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Alumni HOF) honoring and thanking Seniors for their dedication to wrestling, with a challenge to continue to give back.
Chuck has been named Wrestling USA Minnesota’s Wrestling Person of the Year, inducted into the Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Alumni HOF, and also inducted into The Clash HOF.
Wrestling has given Chuck a chance to see the World. In 1982, he was the Asst Greco-Roman Coach of the Jr Pan Am Wrestling Team that competed in Cali, Columbia. In 1985, he was the Head Coach of the Jr Pan Am Wrestling Team that competed in the European Jr. Championships in Bucharest, Romania. In 1991 he traveled with SCSU teammates Jerome Schmitz and Rolf Turner to New Zealand and Australia to set up a Wrestling Cultural Exchange trip.
Chuck has been married to his loving and special wife, Ruth, for nearly 29 years. He has 2 stepsons, Nathan (Pam) and Adam (Amanda), and 5 grandchildren, Cole, Connor, Cade, Kendall, and Keegan. Nearly all have been involved with the many wrestling events held in SE MN. As with most wrestling families, the support, love, hard work, and sacrifice, that takes place are monumental to the success of any person. Chuck is humbled and proud of the many good wrestling people who have mentored him, he has coached and been associated with.
Joel Skillings, 2022 Lifetime Service Honoree
Originally from a small rural town in Minnesota, Joel attended Moorhead State University and graduated with his B.S. in Physical Education, B.S. in Health, and B.S. in Coaching. After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart Jacquelyn and began his teaching and coaching career in New Town, North Dakota. After four successful years coaching football and wrestling in New Town, he moved to Minneota, Minnesota, and took over a program on the brink of being paired or eliminated — he had to beg for teams to wrestle the 14 kids who stood by his program rebuild.
For 31 years, Joel served as the head wrestling coach for the Minneota Vikings. His ultimate objective was to make his student-athletes into great people who understood that the world is full of choices that they must be accountable for. During that time, his teams amassed a record of 559-197- 4, placing him 8th all-time for dual wins in the state of Minnesota. Joel had eight teams qualify for the state tournament — 3-times placing 3rd and twice placing 4th. In 2015, his team captured the Class A State Championship. In addition, Joel coached 161 state qualifiers, 69 state place winners, 18 state finalists, and eight state champions.
Throughout his coaching tenure, Joel was named Section Coach of the Year 10 times and Class A Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2015. In 2015, Joel was also named the Minnesota Wrestling Coach of the Year. After retiring as head coach of the Minneota Vikings, Joel was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2021. In addition to his wrestling coaching career, he coached football for over 20-years and was a part of several state championship teams.
With a deep passion for the sport, Joel gave back to wrestling in many ways: serving as a section representative, the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association president, and working at every level of MNUSA wrestling. Moreover, Joel developed a deep friendship with J Robinson and served as a Director for J Rob Camps across the United States for 20-plus years. After retiring from coaching high school wrestling, Joel began serving as an assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State University.
Outside of coaching, he was active in his school, community, and church. Joel completed over 30 marathons, qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon twice. He also enjoyed traveling with his family, working out, hunting, and convincing his two sons to run a marathon with him.
Joel gives credit to all those who helped him along the way: the wrestlers who gave him the opportunity to coach them and the wonderful people who fostered and mentored his love for coaching. He states, “I have been very fortunate to have many great influencers in my life and coaching career. I did my best to go where the best people were and learn as much as I possibly could to promote my program, the kids, the community, and the sport.” Adding, “Coaching in a small town with the same kids I taught as kindergartners was a pleasure and immensely gratifying. It’s funny how they look different when they are 16 and 18 years old. It was a privilege working with and watching those young people become the best version of themselves.” Most of all, Joel gives credit to his wife Jacquelyn, saying, “She was by far my biggest fan and the one person who gave me the strength and support to pursue my passion for wrestling.” Although honored and appreciative of all his wrestling-related accolades, Joel states his greatest achievement is his marriage to Jacquelyn and his wonderful family: daughter Ashley, sons Tanner and Christian, son-in-law Josh, and granddaughters Aria and Nola.