Donny Wichmann Foundation Gives Back

By Jeff Beshey

When Donny Wichmann passed away in July 2019 at the age of 53, it left a void in the Minnesota wrestling community. He touched the lives of the many people he met in a special way – whether as a family member, a teammate, a coach, a friend, or even just an acquaintance.

At Donny’s funeral, a group of Augsburg Wrestling alumni came together to celebrate his life, and that’s when the idea of a Donny Wichmann Foundation came into being.

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National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter Honors 11

On Saturday, April 24th, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter held their 19th annual banquet and ceremony and inducted nine new members and honored two from the 2020 class who have contributed significantly to Minnesota Wrestling and beyond. The celebration was held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn.

250 people were in attendance, including many former Hall of Fame inductees.

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Let’s TakeDown Cancer Together – February 1st – February 7th

Since the inception of our TakeDown Cancer program, communities from the Midwest and beyond, have raised over $250,000 for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. Proceeds go directly to fund cancer research and programs that benefit cancer patients.

Due to the COVID pandemic, limited fan events, and stresses on coaches, we have decided to give everyone the opportunity to support TakeDown Cancer with an online donation week. From February 1st – 7th, wresting families can donate directly to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.

We want to thank YOU for making the TakeDown Cancer program so successful over the years. Please consider a donation and forwarding this message on as we work together to TakeDown Cancer! Double Your Donation! The first $3000 in donations will be matched dollar for dollar!

Thank you so much for supporting TakeDown Cancer! Continue reading at givesmart.com →

Augsburg coaching legend John Grygelko passes away

MINNEAPOLIS — John Grygelko, who played a key role in establishing the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team as a small-college national power, died on Friday, December 18, 2020. He was 93 years old.

Grygelko coached the Auggies during a key period of the program’s growth, from 1972 to 1980. His teams never finished lower than second in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition, winning six straight league titles from 1975 to 1980. Grygelko coached 32 MIAC individual champions, including three conference tournament most valuable wrestlers. He produced a 98-12-1 dual-meet record in his Augsburg career, including two unbeaten seasons (11-0 in 1976-77, 12-0 in 1978-79).

Under Grygelko, the Auggies finished in the top 10 in NAIA national competition four times, including a second-place finish in 1975 and a third-place finish in 1979. He coached 18 NAIA All-Americans during his Augsburg years, including national champions Scott Whirley ’82 (126 pounds) and Jeff Swenson ’79 (167 pounds) in 1979. Grygelko was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1975.

“We hold John and his family in our hearts as we mourn his loss. ‘G’ was much more than a coach to so many of us. ‘G’ was a father figure who guided the lives of hundreds of young men, and for many of us, helped mold us into the men we are today. He was instrumental in bringing Augsburg’s wrestling program to national prominence,” said Swenson, who succeeded Grygelko as Augsburg’s head coach in 1980 and led the Auggies to 10 NCAA Division III national championships in his 25 seasons (1980-84, 1986-2007). Swenson currently serves as Augsburg’s athletic director. Continue reading at athletics.augsburg.edu →