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Tom Minkel Appointed to NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee


Veteran Spartan head coach will serve on committee for four years, beginning in September 2011.   Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Veteran Spartan head coach will serve on committee for four years, beginning in September 2011. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.


EAST LANSING, Mich. – Veteran Michigan State wrestling head coach Tom Minkel has been appointed to serve on the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee, the NCAA has announced. Minkel, who is currently in his 20th year at the helm of the Spartan program, will begin his four-year term in September 2011. There are six total members on the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee.


“This is really an honor,” said Minkel. “The NCAA Wrestling Committee steers the course of college wrestling. It’s a four-year assignment, so I’m looking forward in getting my feet wet and really understanding what the role of the committee is. Hopefully I can be a part of some positive direction for the sport of wrestling. I’m really looking forward to it.”


“I think it’s great to have coaches in leadership roles,” said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. “Coach Minkel is highly respected in the sport, and nothing demonstrates that more than representing Michigan State at the highest level of collegiate wrestling on the NCAA Division I Committee.”


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Minkel is third on the all-time wins list at MSU with 151, behind Grady Peninger (213) and Fendley Collins (158). During his tenure, Minkel has produced 36 All-Americans, 13 Big Ten Champions and two NCAA Champions, building on the storied tradition of the program that has generated 19 NCAA Champions, 67 Big Ten Champions and eight Big Ten Championships. His direction has also led to team success as his squads have placed in the Top 25 at the NCAA Championships 13 times, including a third-place finish in 1995.


Minkel's resume is one of the most impressive in the country, highlighted by numerous international coaching experiences. After serving as head coach for three U.S. World Teams and one U.S. Pan-American team, Minkel was named the head coach for the U.S. Team at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Minkel made the most of his opportunity while creating U.S. wrestling history - he led the USA to a bronze medal, the highest finish ever by a U.S. team in Greco-Roman competition. Overall, Minkel's travels have taken him to more than 40 countries and have cemented his reputation as one of the top coaches in the sport.


For all of Minkel's coaching credentials, his career as a wrestler is just as impressive. His vast knowledge of the sport stems from his own career as a world-class wrestler. Minkel, a three-time U.S. National Greco-Roman Champion at 149 pounds, was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team and wrestled for seven U.S. teams that competed internationally.


As a collegiate wrestler at Central Michigan, Minkel was a three-time All-American - twice in Division II and once in Division I - and is the only wrestler in school history to go through an entire career undefeated in dual meets (35-0-1). He was the conference champion in 1969 and 1970, and earned the conference's Outstanding Wrestler Award in 1970. His overall career mark was 73-13-1, and his accomplishments landed him in Central Michigan's Hall of Fame in 1985. Minkel was also a Michigan High School State Champion at Williamston High School in 1967.


Minkel arrived at Michigan State in 1991 from his alma mater, where he was the head coach for two seasons and served as an assistant coach for 12 years (1977-89).

In addition to his coaching duties, Minkel has been on several wrestling committees. He was the second vice president for USA Wrestling from 1984-86 and the group's president from 1986-90. Minkel was also an athlete's representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1984-86.