South Dakota State wrestling rebuilding under new coach Damion Hahn

BROOKINGS – South Dakota State wrestling reached its pinnacle last year, tying for the Big 12 title, placing 12th at the national meet, ranking among the national leaders in dual attendance and getting the school’s first-ever Division I national championship with Seth Gross taking the title at 133 pounds.

Chris Bono, the coach who turned around the once-floundering SDSU program, parlayed the historic season into landing the job to lead the Wisconsin Badgers, and in his place stepped Damion Hahn, a 38-year-old former national champion at Minnesota and longtime assistant at Cornell.

Maintaining the momentum that last year’s squad created has been difficult.

The Jacks are 1-5 in duals, including 0-3 at home and 0-2 in the Big 12. They hosted a pair of duals last weekend against Northern Iowa and Pitt, and lost 30-10 and 34-0. It wasn’t the kind of showing SDSU wrestling had in mind when they started consistently bringing four-digit crowds to Frost. Continue reading at www.argusleader.com

Guillotine Grapevine Podcast: Former Gopher Damion Hahn now leading South Dakota State

Heading into November 25th’s dual at Maturi Pavilion, The Guillotine Grapevine catches up with new South Dakota State head coach Damion Hahn. A four-time All-American and two-time NCAA Division I champion for Minnesota, Hahn left Cornell after 12 seasons as an assistant coach and came back to the midwest. Hahn talks about his foundations in wrestling, how he dealt with being the best guy on a losing high school team and how he chose Minnesota and how the team component was a big part of it.

Hahn goes year-by-year as a Gopher, talking about the influences on him as a wrestler before he got into coaching with Rob Koll at Cornell. We then circle back as to how Hahn broke away from his own conventional thinking with what he wanted from a coaching job and how Justin Sell, the AD at South Dakota State changed all that.

While Hahn is coaching at a school looking to poach Minnesota talent from the state, it’s a good trip down memory lane for Gopher fans.

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