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Gopher Wrestling Club names Troy Steiner as new RTC Head Coach

by Logan Sass, Minnesota Athletics

Troy Steiner coaches with the Gopher WC RTC
Photo of Troy Steiner coaching with Gopher WC RTC courtesy of Minnesota Athletics

MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota’s regional training center will have a new head coach at the helm, as Gopher Wrestling Club announced on Monday afternoon that Troy Steiner will take over as head coach.

The announcement comes at the heels of former head coach Dustin Schlatter’s resignation to pursue opportunities outside of the sport, as Gopher Wrestling Club is set for a busy end to the freestyle season with athletes competing in both the Senior World Championships and U23 World Championships later this fall.

Steiner, who was a 1992 NCAA Champion and a nine-time U.S. freestyle national team member, returns to the Gopher wrestling room with nearly 30 years of coaching experience. He previously spent a one-year stint in Minneapolis from 1996-1997, where he acted as an assistant coach for the Gophers as well as the state freestyle coach for Minnesota Storm.

Steiner’s coaching accomplishments include six NCAA champions, 10 Big Ten champions, 22 NCAA All-Americans, and 46 Junior Freestyle & Greco All-Americans, with other coaching stints with the University of Iowa, University of Madison, Oregon State University, and Fresno State University.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work with the Gopher Wrestling Club program. They have some great individuals here to work with,” Steiner said. “I’ve been around both [Daniel] DeShazer and [Hayden] Zillmer and they’re great individuals to work with, hopefully I can help them accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. There’s no replacing a guy like Dustin Schlatter and he’ll be missed for sure, but I’m going to do what I can do to help this program continue to move forward.”

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Troy back when he coached at Minnesota during my freshman year, and I have always had respect for Troy as a coach and a mentor,” Minnesota head coach Brandon Eggum said. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our wrestling room, and we are fortunate to have him involved with the Gopher Wrestling Club.”

Steiner now faces a quick turnaround as new head coach with resident RTC athlete Hayden Zillmer set to travel to Belgrade, Serbia in two weeks to compete in the Senior World Championships at 125 kilograms. Gopher Wrestling Club will then have two representatives at the U23 World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain from October 17-23, as Aaron Nagao will compete in freestyle competition at 61 kilograms, while Michial Foy will participate in greco-roman competition at 86 kilograms.