J Robinson’s first wrestling team didn’t win a single dual.
Almost 27 years later, the Gophers head wrestling coach has tallied 388 wins and is still going strong.
On Thursday, he will have a chance to reflect on his own storied career, one that has been marked by innovation and controversy.
Robinson will be inducted into the University’s M Club Hall of Fame — a fitting honor for a man who has won three national championships and three Coach of the Year honors in his 26 years at the helm of Gophers wrestling.
J Robinson will be inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame on Thursday.
Carter Page had never cried during a workout before.
“It’s so painful sometimes,” Page said. “But getting through it is the best feeling in the world.”
Page, 16, reached the Virginia state wrestling final his freshman season as a rookie to the sport. However, after a loss in the championship and a poor effort his sophomore year, Page said he needed to do something different.
“I had to make a change, so I came here,” he said.
About 300 athletes come to hone their skills on the mat.
Sunday’s team wrestling banquet capped off a crazy weekend for Gophers heavyweight Tony Nelson.
Before the banquet held at a Minneapolis hotel, Nelson spent the weekend in Cambridge, Minn., being honored by his hometown. His former high school had a pep fest for him and Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer proclaimed April 27, 2012, “Tony Nelson Day,” which the soft-spoken Nelson described as “pretty neat.”
The sophomore heavyweight won 25 straight matches to end the season.
ST. LOUIS — In a span of about 15 seconds, Tony Nelson went from wrestling in a tied national championship match to throwing both of his fists in the air, saluting the Minnesota fans and celebrating his first career national championship.
Nelson was the Gophers’ lone champion at the NCAA wrestling championships Saturday in St. Louis, but Minnesota crowned seven All-Americans and finished second to defending champion Penn State in the team standings.
Minnesota had 7 All-Americans, and J Robinson was named Nat’l Coach of the Year.
ST. LOUIS — Minnesota advanced eight wrestlers beyond day one of the NCAA championships and was sitting in second place.
That momentum seemed to halt Friday.
Dylan Ness (149 pounds) and Tony Nelson (heavyweight) are the only two Gophers still vying for a national title at their respective weight classes. Five other Minnesota wrestlers are competing in the loser’s bracket, which is more commonly referred to as the wrestleback bracket.