The St. Cloud State University wrestling team presented its “Alumni Achievement Award” to Cambridge-Isanti head wrestling coach Neil Jennissen at its annual team awards banquet on April 4 in St. Cloud.
A 1981 graduate of Staples High School, Jennissen wrestled for two seasons at Minnesota-Morris before transferring to St. Cloud State in the winter of 1984. He joined the Husky roster during the 1985-86 season and wrestled at 150-pounds and 158-pounds.
In the fall of 1986, Jennissen began his high school coaching career when he took over the job at St. Cloud Apollo High School. He later served as an assistant coach at Cold Spring ROCORI High School before joining the athletic department at Cambridge-Isanti in 1989-90.
He has since built the Bluejackets’ wrestling program into one of the state’s premier prep programs. Under the leadership of Jennissen, Cambridge-Isanti has been in the section finals 17 times, have won eight Section 7AAA titles, seven conference titles and has finished as the State team runner-up twice.
Jennissen has coached 50 section champions, 59 State place-winners and eight State champions. He has seen five of his former athletes go onto compete at the NCAA Division I level and three former wrestlers have won collegiate national titles (D-I champs Luke Becker & Tony Nelson, and D-III champ Zach Molitor). There are two Bluejackets on the SCSU 2013-14 roster, Clayton Jennissen (his son) and Travis Holt.
A Physical Education and Driver Education instructor at CIHS, Jennissen also coaches football. He is a retired major from the Minnesota Army National Guard and a 10-year veteran on the Cambridge Fire Department.
• A redshirt freshman for the Huskies, Clayton Jennissen, who finished the 2013-14 season with a 24-15 record, was a qualifier for the 2014 NCAA Division II championships at 174-pounds. He received SCSU’s “Iron Man of the Year” award at the banquet and was also selected as SCSU’s “Jim and Dave Hazewinkel Tough Man of the Year” award recipient. Holt was a freshman at SCSU in 2013-14. He competed at 157-pounds for the Huskies this winter and posted an 8-4 record.