Donny and Nick – Writing a Legacy

By Brian Jerzak

Former Augsburg wrestler and Auggies’ assistant coach Donny Wichmann touched countless lives – in and out of the sport of wrestling. Legacy Training Center founder Nick Slack is one of those he profoundly influenced, first as a coach and then as a co-worker. When Wichmann passed away in 2019 after a long battle with cancer, Slack wanted to do something to keep his friend’s legacy alive. Slack’s vision is becoming a reality. He is honoring the legacy of Wichmann by helping kids write their own legacy.

Wichmann’s wrestling career would end with him winning three conference titles and becoming a Division III All-American for Augsburg. Shortly after his competitive wrestling career ended, he joined Augsburg head coach Jeff Swenson’s staff and was an assistant coach for 19 years. One of the wrestlers he would coach and then coach with – was Slack.

“Donny was a sporting goods sales guy,” Slack said. “He would go to a town a night, do an open house and bring all his shoes. When he came down to Belle Plaine in 1995, I bought my first pair of wrestling shoes from Donny. That was the first time I met him. He had a glowing personality, a big smile, and was super nice. He was the guy I would buy my shoes from every year. He would be at some tournaments, so I would see him two or three times a year.”

Slack and Wichmann’s relationship would grow along with Slack’s wrestling career.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

Augsburg wrestling legend Donny Wichmann ’89 passes away

MINNEAPOLIS — Donny Wichmann, a 1989 alumnus of Augsburg University and a legend in men’s wrestling, both as a competitor and as a longtime assistant coach for the Auggies, died on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 53 years old.

A three-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, a national tournament All-American and a longtime assistant coach who was a part of 10 NCAA Division III national championship teams with the Auggies, Wichmann was recognized for his excellence by being inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, and by the recent announcement of his induction into the 2019 class of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame. He will be inducted posthumously during a ceremony on Aug. 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A memorial service and celebration of Wichmann’s life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Si Melby Hall on the Augsburg campus. More details on the service will be released later.

Continue reading →

Augsburg’s Donny Wichmann ’89 to be inducted into NWCA D-III Hall of Fame

MINNEAPOLIS — Augsburg University men’s wrestling alumnus Donny Wichmann ’89, a three-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, a national tournament All-American and a longtime assistant coach who was a part of 10 NCAA Division III national championship teams with the Auggies, will be inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame during a ceremony in August in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. (Eastern time) at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The ceremony is taking place during the NWCA’s annual convention in Fort Lauderdale.

In addition to the formal celebration in Florida, a local celebration for Wichmann will be held on Saturday, July 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Finnegans Brew Co. in Minneapolis (817 5th Avenue South, Minneapolis 55404). There will be a cash bar and food trucks will be on-site.

Continue reading →

National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter Inducts 9

On Saturday, April 21st the NWHOF Minnesota Chapter held their 16th annual ceremony and inducted nine distinguished members who have contributed significantly to Minnesota Wrestling. The Awards Ceremony was held at the Holiday Inn Austin, Minn.

Inductees/honorees were Tim Penny as Outstanding American from Minnesota. Donny Wichmann received the State Medal of Courage Award from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award were Gerry Bakke, Dale Benjamin, Gary Hindt, Ted Lelwica, Marty Morgan, John Oxton, and J Robinson.

Continue reading →

NWHOF to Induct 9 new members at the Minnesota Chapter Banquet on April 21st

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter Banquet will take place on Saturday, April 21st in Austin, Minn.

Inductees/honorees will be Tim Penny as Outstanding American from Minnesota. Donny Wichmann will receive the State Medal of Courage Award from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award are Gerry Bakke, Dale Benjamin, Gary Hindt, Ted Lelwica, Marty Morgan, John Oxton, and J Robinson.

Continue reading →

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame to Induct 9 new members at the Minnesota Chapter Banquet on April 21st

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Minnesota Chapter is proud to announce the induction of Tim Penny as their Outstanding American from Minnesota. Donny Wichmann will receive the State Medal of Courage Award from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award are Gerry Bakke, Dale Benjamin, Gary Hindt, Ted Lelwica, Marty Morgan, John Oxton, and J Robinson.

The Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center, right off I-90, Exit 178A. The reception will begin at 2 p.m. and a Silent Auction will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.The banquet and induction ceremonies will begin at 3 p.m. This is an opportunity for you to honor these great individuals and to promote the positive aspects of our oldest and greatest sport – wrestling!

Continue reading →