After leading Apple Valley to five Class 3A state championships in five seasons, wrestling coach Dalen Wasmund is retiring, the school announced Thursday.
Wasmund first worked on the Eagles’ coaching staff in the 1980s and returned as an assistant coach in 2000. He was elevated to head coach in 2012 after the departure of longtime coach Jim Jackson, who now coaches at Shakopee.
Wasmund, a former collegiate All-American with the Gophers, said there are times when the head coaching gets a little tiring and takes him away from the part he loves — the wrestling.
He is open to continuing to help out in the Eagles’ room, should the next coach ask for his assistance.
“I would certainly help and am certainly game to keep coaching and keep watching the sport that I love,” Wasmund said.
He leaves whomever the next coach will be with a solid group of sophomores and juniors and standout heavyweight Gable Steveson, who will be a senior next season.
“I just think it would be an easy time for a coach to transition in and have some good kids ready to go,” Wasmund said.
The next coach will enter the most pressure-packed high school wrestling job in the state. The Eagles have won 12 straight state titles as Minnesota’s preeminent wrestling power. Wasmund’s advice for his successor is simple.
“Try to look at it as a good opportunity and a place to grow, but don’t get caught up in the winning and the losing so much,” he said. “That’ll make life a little easier.”
Because while “the winning was fun,” Wasmund said the best part of the job was the relationships he built with other coaches and his wrestlers.
He will continue to teach math at the high school but now will have a little more free time after school. And he’ll no longer be in the corner for those high-energy, stressful postseason contests.
“But those are fun,” Wasmund said. “If you’re a competitor, you love those kinds of things. It revitalizes you, and it makes you put your…