A.L. hires new wrestling coach

Published 1:52 pm Sunday, September 17, 2017

For the first time in more than 25 years, Albert Lea will see a new face leading the high school wrestling team.

Andy Hackenmueller, a native of St. Michael-Albertville, takes over the head coaching position after long-time leader Larry Goodnature stepped down over the summer.

Graduating in 2006, Hackenmueller was a three-time state place winner on a team that was a three-time state champion. He wrestled competitively at North Dakota State University for two years and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for two years. While in La Crosse, Hackenmueller said he got hooked on coaching.

Andy Hackenmueller (right) takes over the Albert Lea head wrestling coach position after spending two years as an assistant with the team. – Tyler Julson/Albret Lea Tribune

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After spending two years as head coach in Rush City, he was contacted by Goodnature to come to Albert Lea and shadow for a couple years as Goodnature prepared for retirement.

Now that he has been an assistant on the team for two years, he’s ready to take over and start a tradition of his own.

Hackenmueller described himself as a passionate and fun-loving coach. He said the wrestlers are definitely going to know when he’s excited and they’re doing something right.

He talked about what it’s going to be like for him to take over a program that has had such a rich tradition.

“I came from a pretty similar situation in St. Michael, so I got to experience a lot as an athlete,” he said. “It’s been a very good program here, so I don’t think I’ll need to change a ton. Of course, it’s going to need a little tweaking to make it my own, but I’m going to continue to ask questions and be in contact with Larry (Goodnature) and the rest of the staff as long as they’re here to support me.”

Coming into the program, Hackenmueller has the goals set high. Not only does he want the team and individuals to win state championships, but he has goals set for his wrestlers futures, as well. He said he hopes to put each of his athletes in a position to go to college with wrestling scholarships and keep coming back to be a part of the program after they graduate.

“I’m not very nervous at all starting out,” Hackenmueller said. “The booster club here is second to none. The fans are very knowledgeable, which is great. I’m very excited, this is where I want to be. They know what they want, they want to win and I want to be a part of that.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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