The South Dakota State Wrestling Team had 12 – 4 record during the 2022- 2023 season. This, under the leadership, of head coach Damion Hahn.
As found on the South Dakota State University’s website, below is head coach Damion Hahn’s bio (note that it does not seem to be updated to include the 2022- 2023 statistics). Learn about this coach’s career:
Damion Hahn is overseeing a successful rebuilding of South Dakota State University wrestling as he enters his fifth season at the helm of the Jackrabbits’ program. Hahn has compiled a 33-26 career dual record and has coached four All-Americans and 14 NCAA qualifiers during his tenure in Brookings.
During the 2019-20 season, the National Wrestling Coaches Association selected 149-pounder Henry Pohlmeyer, 184-pounder Zach Carlson and 197-pounder Tanner Sloan as second-team All-Americans after the NCAA Championships were canceled at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also during the 2019-20 campaign, the Jackrabbits turned in their first winning dual season under Hahn by posting a 12-6 overall record, including a 6-3 mark in the Big 12. Included in the dual wins were victories over nationally ranked Northern Iowa and Stanford.
SDSU also improved by six spots in the Big 12 Conference tournament, finishing fourth in the team standings at the 2020 competition.
Highlighting the 2020-21 season, Clay Carlson wrestled his way to an eighth-place finish at nationals in the 141-pound division. Carlson also was honored as the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award he would receive again the following year.
In all, five SDSU wrestlers earned a trip to the NCAA Championships in March 2021.
The Jackrabbits returned to the winning side of the ledger during the 2021-22 campaign and also cracked the national rankings as a team for the first time since early in Hahn’s first season. SDSU compiled a 13-4 dual record that included a 21-12 victory at ninth-ranked Missouri, marking the program’s first dual win over a top-10 opponent.
In postseason competition, SDSU placed sixth at the 2022 Big 12 Wrestling Championship and set four wrestlers on to the NCAA Championships in Detroit.
Hahn was hired at SDSU on April 9, 2018, following more than a decade of success as a member of the coaching staff at Cornell (N.Y.).
Hahn’s teams also have performed well in the classroom, earning Top 30 Scholar Team All-America honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association each of the past two seasons. The 2021-22 squad ranked seventh among Division I programs with a 3.465 grade-point average and six Jackrabbits were recognized individually as NWCA Scholar All-America honorees.
“Damion represents everything we are looking for in being able to take our wrestling program to the next level,” said SDSU Director of Athletics Justin Sell in announcing the hire. “His success both as a collegiate wrestler and coach, along with his ability to recruit high-achieving student-athletes on and off the mat, made him the ideal candidate. He is a tremendous ambassador for the sport who will work tirelessly to ensure wrestling thrives both on our campus and across the country.”
Hahn spent 12 years as an assistant coach and later the associate head coach at Cornell in Ithaca, New York. During his tenure, the Big Red recorded 11 top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships, including consecutive runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011. He mentored 50 All-Americans, 12 of whom were individual NCAA champs.
Cornell also won 12 straight Ivy League dual championships and 11 consecutive Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association team titles.
In accepting his first head coaching position, Hahn made a return to the Midwest. As a collegiate wrestler at Minnesota, Hahn won NCAA individual national titles as a junior and senior. A four-time All-American, he also was a three-time Big 10 individual champion and was named the Jesse Owens Big 10 Male Athlete of the Year in 2004.
The Golden Gophers won team NCAA championships during both his freshman and sophomore seasons. He finished his collegiate career with a 118-21 record.
Hahn was inducted into the University of Minnesota’s M Club Hall of Fame in 2018.
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