Auggie men’s wrestlers to be honored by state, Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — The 15-time national champion Augsburg University men’s wrestling team will be honored by both the state of Minnesota and the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday (6/18), with a statewide proclamation issued by the governor and a pregame ceremony before Tuesday’s Twins game at Target Field.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan signed a proclamation declaring Tuesday “Augsburg Men’s Wrestling Day” in Minnesota, honoring the Auggies’ 2024 NCAA Division III national championship, the 15th national title in school history and second in a row.

Head coach Tony Valek ’12 will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday’s Twins game against Tampa Bay, scheduled to start at 6:40 p.m. at Target Field. Valek, his coaching staff and members of the 2023-24 Auggies will be honored on the field prior to Valek throwing out the first pitch. The game takes place during Augsburg’s wrestling team camp, which is taking place this week on the Augsburg campus.

Augsburg won the NCAA Division III national championship for the 15th time in school history and second year in a row in 2023-24, earning six All-Americans and two individual national titlists among its 10 national tournament qualifiers. The Auggies finished 11-1 in dual meets and also won the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional title this season. Academically, Augsburg claimed 20 individual National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-Americans, and placed sixth in the NWCA’s Division III Scholar All-America Team race with a 3.725 team grade-point average.


WHEREAS: The Augsburg University men’s wrestling team won the 2024 NCAA Division III national championship, held at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on March 15 and 16, 2024, scoring 95.0 points to win the national title by 7.5 points; and

WHEREAS: The national title is Augsburg’s second in a row, both secured under the leadership of Head Coach Tony Valek; and

WHEREAS: Two Auggies earned national titles in their weight classes: 184-pounder Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann and 285-pounder Tyler Kim; and

WHEREAS: Four other Auggies were also named NCAA Division III All-Americans: 157-pounder Blake Jagodzinske, 165-pounder Cooper Willis, 174-pounder Seth Goetzinger, and 197-pounder Parker Venz, among Auggie qualifiers for the National Championships in all 10 weight classes; and

WHEREAS: Augsburg has now tied Wartburg College of Iowa for the most NCAA Division III team national championships in men’s wrestling, as each has won 15 titles, and the two colleges have combined to win every Division III men’s wrestling national title since 1995; and

WHEREAS: Augsburg is one of only five schools among all NCAA divisions to have won 10 or more men’s wrestling team national championships; and

WHEREAS: Augsburg men’s wrestlers have earned 59 individual national championships, including a record 55 in NCAA Division III competition; and

WHEREAS: Augsburg men’s wrestlers have earned 281 All-American honors, with top-eight national tournament finishes, in school history, with the Auggies earning at least one All-American honor in every national tournament since 1977; and

WHEREAS: Augsburg set a school record by earning 20 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-Americans in the 2023-2024 school year, bringing the team’s total of Scholar All-Americans to 222 since 1983; and

WHEREAS: Augsburg finished sixth in the NWCA’s Division III Scholar All-American team competition with a 3.725 team grade-point average, its 18th top-10 national honor since 1998; and

WHEREAS: Sports have the power to inspire communities through the power of dedication, perseverance, and teamwork.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TIM WALZ, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, June 18, 2024, as: AUGSBURG MEN’S WRESTLING DAY in the State of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 12th day of June.

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