Learning Lessons On The Wrestling Mat

On the Spot Q&A with Men’s Wrestling Head Coach Tony Valek

Once Tony Valek ’12, ’14 MAL became part of the Augsburg University community, he never left. From student wrestler to head wrestling coach, he remains invested in training the next generation of Auggies—helping them not only grow as athletes, but as human beings ready for life after graduation. Amateur wrestling website The Open Mat named Valek the 2022–23 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year for leading the men’s wrestling team to its 14th national championship in program history. Following last season’s tremendous success, Valek reflects on his Augsburg journey and what he loves most about coaching.

Q: How did you end up at Augsburg?

A: I’ve been involved in the Augsburg community for quite a while. My older brother, Ryan Valek ’06, actually attended and wrestled at Augsburg. The relationships with the coaches—like Coach [Jeff] Swenson—and the people ended up drawing me here. I wrestled at Augsburg from 2008 to 2012, and I really haven’t left. I was the graduate assistant coach for two years, and then I became a full-time coach in the 2014–15 season and have been here ever since. Continue reading at augsburg.edu →

SDSU Schedule Finalized For 2023-24

Seven home dates, including home duals against five Big 12 Conference opponents, highlight the 2023-24 schedule for the South Dakota State University wrestling team.

The Jackrabbits, who sent a school-record eight wrestlers to the 2023 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, open the home slate Nov. 17 by hosting the Dakota Showcase at Frost Arena. The four-team dual event also will feature in-state programs Augustana, Dakota Wesleyan and Northern State.

To close out the weekend, SDSU will host the day-long Daktronics Open on Nov. 19.

The remainder of the first two months of competition also will be a mix of tournament and dual competitions. In tournament action, the Jackrabbits are scheduled to compete in the season-opening Bison Open (Nov. 11), as well as make return trips to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 1-2) and the Soldier Salute (Dec. 29-30).

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Former Gophers in Action This Weekend

Pat Smith Competes at Worlds, while Mitch McKee Headlines LFA168

MINNEAPOLIS – A pair of former Minnesota wrestlers are in action starting Friday as they look to showcase their respective talents to the world.

Pat Smith begins competition Friday at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Competing in Greco-Roman at 72 kg for Minnesota Storm, Smith is set to open with a matchup against No. 13 Kamil Czarnecki of Poland. A victory would set up a bout with No. 5 Ibragim Magomadov of Kazakhstan.

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2023 J-Club Hall of Honor Class: Terry Haws

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Terry Haws might not have ended up at Saint John’s University in the first place were it not for a rule change and an illicit cigarette.

It was the fall of 1966 and Haws was the athletic director and head football and wrestling coach at St. Cloud Cathedral High School. The previous spring, the school had elected to make a change to its disciplinary policy, increasing the punishment for being caught smoking from a three-day suspension to expulsion.

It was a move Haws – who had also been the boys guidance counselor at Cathedral – strongly opposed.

“His argument was that some kid was going to make a dumb mistake and it was going to cost them a full year of school,” recalls his son Pat, a student at Cathedral at the time. “He thought it was way too harsh.” Continue reading at gojohnnies.com →

2023 J-Club Hall of Honor Class: Lou Adderley ’55

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Lou Adderley had played some tennis prior to arriving at Saint John’s University as a freshman from The Bahamas in 1951.

He hadn’t wrestled at all.

But Adderley managed to master both sports during his time in Collegeville, going on to win conference championships in each over the course of his collegiate career.

“I was always so impressed with his work ethic,” recalls Patrick Wangen ’58, a tennis teammate during Adderley’s senior season in 1955 when he was not only a star player, but the team’s head coach. Continue reading at gojohnnies.com →

Former Gophers wrestler Logan Storley climbing rankings of Bellator MMA

Former Gophers wrestler Logan Storley continues to dominate the world of mixed martial arts, starring as one of the best fighters on the Bellator circuit.

He dominated Brennan Ward back in his home state of South Dakota at the Sanford Pentagon during Bellator 298 in August. That improved his record to 15-2.

Storley currently is the No. 1 contender for the Bellator Welterweight World Championship and hoping to get another crack at the only fighter he’s ever lost to and current champion, Yaroslav Amisov.

We caught up with Storley recently to hear about his recent domination, his days as a Gophers wrestler, and more. View/Continue reading at kstp.com →