Forty-Six Years and Counting, Hansen Finally is Inducted into Hall of Fame

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Keeley Klein, Journalist

On February 29, 2020, John Hansen was inducted into the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame at the State Wrestling Tournament held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Hansen along with a dozen other coaches received this honor.

Hansen has been the head coach at Gregory High School since 1974 after he graduated from South Dakota State University. Gregory was Hansen’s first science teaching position and was the first, and only, wrestling program where he was the head coach. Before signing the contract to become a forever “Gorilla”, John was the assistant coach at the Sioux Valley School District during his last two years of college.

Hansen is one of the few coaches in South Dakota to coach both his sons and his grandson. His oldest grandson, Owen Hansen, was even wrestling in the state championship match and received second place the day John was inducted.

Hansen has seen several hundred wrestlers in his coaching career. He helps to shape his wrestlers into humble individuals on and off the wrestling mat. Junior Jordan Vosika said, “Mr. Hansen has taught me several things throughout my five years of wrestling for him. Some of these include to never quit in life or in a match no matter how difficult it is and to never stop trying to make yourself and your teammates better.” The Burke/Gregory Storm Wrestling team finished fourth overall at the State ‘B’ Wrestling Tournament, which happened to be Hansen’s highest team placement in all of his forty-six years of coaching.