Every spring at tournament time coaches from each high school section vote for their respective Section Head and Assistant Coach of the Year. Head coach selections are then put on a ballot to be voted on by all coaches at the State Tournament for Class AAA, AA, and A Coach of the Year.
The Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association has awarded six $1,000 scholarships this year. Any senior who has wrestled at a Minnesota high school and is college-bound was eligible to apply.
Each year coaches look at their post-season roster and take ten of those individuals to compile their team GPA. These teams can either qualify for a Silver Award (3.00-3.49) or Gold Award (3.5+) cumulative GPA.
In 2020 we had 114 teams qualify for these two levels of academic awards. Class A had 33 teams submit for an academic award with 13 being Gold and 20 being Silver led by Trinity School at River Ridge which boasted a 3.99 team GPA (top in Class A and top overall).
The 2020 edition of the MWCA All-State Academic Wrestling Team is comprised of 28 student-athletes with a combined average GPA of 3.72. They have amassed over 4000 wins while maintaining a nearly 81% winning percentage. The MWCA gives this award to the state’s best wrestlers who also excel in the classroom. “We are looking to recognize the best student-athletes Minnesota has to offer in each weight class,” commented Joe Puncochar, MWCA All-State Academic Chairperson, “These students certainly represent what it means to be student-athletes, as they are successful in both the classroom and on the mat.
Deadlines for several Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association honors and awards are fast approaching.
The Mr. Minnesota High School Wrestler Award, Media Award, Academic Team Awards, Individual All-State Academic Awards, Assistant Coach of the Year Award, and Scholarship Awards all have upcoming February deadlines.
By Jeff Bro Olsen
Let’s cut to the chase. Brian Bakke, a gifted athlete, got a raw deal in life being born with cystic fibrosis, an inherited life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.
But don’t tell that to Brian or his father, Jeff, the retired East Grand Forks High School head wrestling coach. They know that life throws spitballs and knockdowns. You just get right back up.
Jeff Bakke, a smaller version of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former infantry officer in Vietnam, didn’t coddle his son. No sir!
The 2019 Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Fall Clinic will feature University of Minnesota Coach Brandon Eggum, Southwest Minnesota State Coach Jesse Nelson, and Technique with Jared Lawrence. The Clinic will take place on Saturday, October 26th at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights.
Eight new members were inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 in Benson, Minn.
The new inductees honored were Marty Aho, Chad Erikson, Brad Gibson, Maury Meyer, Doug Paulson, Dennis Schermerhorn, Bill Schmidt, and Wes Tessman.