A Stepping-Stone – On and Off the Mat

Minnesota West Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

When former Jackson County Central head wrestling coach Randy Baker stepped down to become an assistant coach under his former assistant Nate Hanson, Baker didn't expect to be heading up another wrestling program any time soon. But when Minnesota West's Men's Athletic Director Bob Purcell approached Baker about taking over the program, he couldn't resist. As a former wrestler at Minnesota West – then called Worthington Community College – Baker was going to give back to a program that had given to him.

Just now completing his second season as the head coach of the Bluejays' program, Baker wants to keep it moving forward to be a stepping-stone for kids to reach their goals on and off the mat.

"Purcell approached me," Baker said. "I wasn't looking for another job. I wanted to make sure whoever took over at Jackson was stable and make sure the cupboard wasn't bare. I was working as an assistant at JCC with Nate Hanson. It was a good time for me to step down there when I did, as Nate had his two nephews going into seventh grade so he could help them. Bob was worried about the program and needed to find someone. He was worried they might look into cutting the program there if they couldn't find somebody. So, I didn't want to see them cut the program. I don't mind taking over the program for a few years to try to build it back up."

Baker had to hit the ground running.

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The Guillotine – May 13, 2021

The May 13, 2021 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: If It Ain't Broke - Jackson County Central Wrestling | A Family Legacy - Kenyon-Wanamingo | Lace 'Em Up | MWCA Report | Camps-Clinics-Training | View From The Matbird Seat | The Guillotine Academic All-State | Performance Nutrition - Next Season’s Weight Goal | Where Have They Gone? - Pete Dickinson | Ask The Doc.

View this issue below.

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If It Ain’t Broke

Jackson County Central Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That is a saying often heard when transitions are made in successful situations from business to athletics and everything in between. When Jackson County Central head coach Randy Baker decided to step down after twenty-nine years at the helm of the Huskies' program, long-time Huskies' assistant coach Nathan Hanson took over a program he had been involved with almost his entire life.

Hanson wasn't looking to make any drastic changes.

"It is the vision that Randy Baker built," Hanson said. "I am just trying to keep it going."

Baker's vision started about the same time Hanson began wrestling.

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Randy Baker named Minnesota West Head Wrestling Coach

Few can even imagine, let alone replicate, all the accolades that Randy Baker has compiled both as a wrestler and as a wrestling coach.

Now Baker brings all that knowledge and experience to the Minnesota West Bluejay Wrestling room.

On Thursday (5/23) Randy Baker was introduced as the new head coach of the Bluejay wrestling program.

A long-time high school wrestling coach in Southwest Minnesota, Baker helped lead the wrestling programs of the Lakefield Panthers, Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield Silver Bullets, Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield/Jackson Jaguars and the Jackson County Central Huskies to 510 dual meet victories in 34 years as head coach (1984 to 2018) He has coached 39 individual state champion wrestlers (2nd all-time in Minnesota), 93 state place winners (3rd all-time in Minnesota) and has lead his teams to 7 State team championships and 14 won region/section team championships. Continue reading at www.kwoa.com

National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter Inducts 8

On Saturday, April 27th the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter held their 17th annual banquet and ceremony and inducted eight distinguished members who have contributed significantly to Minnesota Wrestling and beyond. The celebration was held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn.

Over 300 people were in attendance, including 28 former Hall of Fame inductees.

Paul Marquart was honored as Outstanding American from Minnesota. Inductees for the Lifetime Service Award were Randy Baker, Jim Bartels, Paul Bengston, Paul Cyr, Lyle Freudenberg, Neal Skaar, and Randy Zimmer.

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The National Wrestling Hall of Fame to Induct 8 new members at the Minnesota Chapter Banquet on April 27th

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Minnesota Chapter is proud to announce the induction of Paul Marquart as their Outstanding American from Minnesota. Honorees for the Lifetime Service Award are Randy Baker, Jim Bartels, Paul Bengston, Paul Cyr, Lyle Freudenberg, Neal Skaar, and Randy Zimmer.

The Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center, right off I-90, Exit 178A. Social hour will be from 2:00-3:00 pm. Dinner, silent auction, and program will be from 3:00-6:30 pm.

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