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MSHSL History Capsule: Jim Jackson

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 - 10:14 AM

Former Apple Valley wresting coach Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson is Minnesota's most accomplished high school wrestling coach. He compiled a prep career record of 868-64-4 at Apple Valley and Shakopee high schools.

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As a young wrestler, Jim Jackson did not win a state championship while growing up in Oelwein, Iowa. But the sport that is filled with endless hard work and preparation stuck with him through college and sparked a professional teaching and coach career in the state to the north.

Jackson is the most successful wrestling coach in Minnesota high school history.

He compiled a prep career record of 868-64-4. He coached at Apple Valley High School for 32 years, including the final 17 as the Eagles’ head coach. In that span, he led Apple Valley to two national championships, 16 state crowns and dozens of individual state champions. In 2015, he joined forces with former Owatonna head coach Scot Davis in leading Eden Prairie High School’s wrestling program. Jackson served as an association head coach to assist Davis, Minnesota’s most-winning prep wrestling coach with more than 1,000 dual victories. For years, Apple Valley and Owatonna were heated rivals.

After four years of retirement from head coaching, he became Shakopee High School’s head coach and led the Sabers to back-to-back state crowns in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Jackson stepped away from head coaching duties in October 2020.  

Jackson has come out of retirement again and is now the head wrestling coach at Staples-Motley High School. 


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