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Gruhlke named Ridgewater wrestling coach

Tribune file photo by Rand Middleton Tom Gruhlke barked commands during the 2003 Class A championship match in which BOLD defeated Pine Island 37-18 to finish 30-1. The Warriors’ Shawn Plumley won the 145-pound weight class and four teams finished in the top six.

WILLMAR — Former BOLD High School wrestling coach Tom Gruhlke has been appointed head wrestling coach at Ridgewater, the college announced Thursday.

He replaces Tom Beyer, a Willmar elementary school teacher who helmed the program the past six winters after 28 years as head coach at the high school.

 Gruhlke, whose duties begin immediately, will be responsible for recruitment, meet/practice scheduling, monitoring satisfactory academic progress of players, and adherence to all related policies.

Gruhlke is a native of Aitkin and graduate of Concordia College where he twice wrestled in the national tournament.

His 32 years of coaching experience include 28 years as a head coach at Bird Island, Buffalo Lake-Hector, BOLD and Eden Prairie, where he was co-head coach.

The 2003 BOLD wrestling team won the Class A state championship. He also coached four individual state champions at the high school in Olivia. He ended his high school coaching career with a final record of 301-237-3.

Gruhlke becomes the ninth head coach in the 50-year history of the wrestling program.

Warriors wrestling coaches (1963-2013)

Russ Hanson 1963-64

Jerry Slattery 1964-67

Pat Fahey 1967-68

Roy Minter 1968-1992

Jack Denholm 1992-1999

Tory Haglund 1999-2002

Jesse Nelson 2002-2007

Tom Beyer 2007-2013

Tom Gruhlke 2013-