New staff, new focus: Austin wrestling team turns to a new head coach

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Austin wrestling team is looking for some new leadership to give the team a fresh perspective on the mat this season.

The Packers have turned to a new head coach in Jacob Nelson, who has been an Austin assistant coach for the past two years. Nelson, an Eastview grad who is from Apple Valley, was a varsity assistant for a year in Eastview and he also had coached in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Nelson brought in some assistant coaches with diverse experience as Jacy Bodi, the heavyweight coach is from Illinois, and Patrick Woods is from Iowa.

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“We’re all just kind of meshing our experiences together and we’re trying to create the best atmosphere for these kids,” Nelson said. “We’ve got a lot of buy-in from the kids who are here. They’re working hard. It’s going to take some time to get them to adjust to what we want them to do, because some of these seniors have been stuck in their ways for awhile with the previous program, but I think there seeing that there’s multiple ways to do something and be successful with it.”

Austin head coach Jacob Nelson observes practice in Austin High School Wednesday. Rocky Hulne/

The Packers are quickly adjusting to the new coaching staff and senior captain Josh Belden likes the versatility they bring to the team.

“We definitely learned a lot of different stuff from each of them,” Belden said. “They each bring something different to the table and they can each help us this year.”

Nelson, who competed in football, wrestling and baseball at Eastview High School, said he wants his team to wrestle with a lot of aggression this season.

“I want them to be able to wrestle six minutes and have the conditioning to that,” Nelson said. “I want them to attack and not back away. We want to always be looking to score and be good on our feet.”

Austin junior captain Gavin Brady thinks the Packers are headed in the right direction with their new coaches.

“I like all of the coaches and I think next year we’ll have a great team,” Brady said. “This year will be a building year.”

Austin will open its season when it competes in the Faribault Invite at 10 a.m. Saturday.