Joel Skillings


Joel Skillings, who guided Minneota to a Class A state wrestling championship in 2015, was inducted into the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Saturday at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin.
Skillings, a two-time Minnesota High School Wrestling Coach of the Year (2012 and 2015), was accompanied at the induction ceremony by his son, Christian, daughter Ashley Oistad, son-in-law Josh Oistad, granddaughters Aria and Nola; brother Paul Skillings, sister Kathy Drevlow, and several other friends and relatives who made the trip from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
"That's what made this an honor," said Skillings, referring to those who supported him on this special day. "I feel truly blessed."
Inducted along with Skillings, were Jim Harstad, Steve Carr, Bill Germann, Mike Hendrickson, Dan Jinks, Don Krusemark, Jerry Reker and Chuck Seifert. They each received Lifetime Service awards.
The nine men will be permanently honored at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Skillings, who stepped down as Minneota coach three years ago and is currently an assistant wrestling coach at the Southwest Minnesota State University, still ranks No. 8 all-time among Minnesota high school wrestling coaches in all classes with 559 wins. He coached Minneota from 1988 to 2019. Besides the state title team in 2015, the Vikings also finished third in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and fourth in 1996 and 2016.
He was also inducted into the Dave Bartelma Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2021.
The 2015 Minneota wrestling team coached by Skillings that won the Class A state championship was inducted into the Wally Pesch Hall of Fame at the Minneota Wrestling Banquet on Saturday. Skillings, who spoke at the banquet, and the majority of the members of that team were on hand for the honor.

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