The Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame banquet was held Oct. 30 in Benson.
Former Scott West coach Darren Ripley was honored at the event with the Lifetime Achievement Award for coaching longevity. He was one of five to earn that distinction.
The award is given to coaches who have 30-plus years of coaching. Ripley retired from coaching Scott West before last season after 22 years with the Panthers. He also spent 10 seasons coaching in Iowa where he’s from.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the MWCA organization for committing so many years of coaching service to a sport and wrestlers that you love,” Ripley said.
Ripley led the Scott West program to 15 Section 2AA titles. His teams were state runner-up four teams and ended up third in sixth other seasons.
Scott West also won the prestigious Rumble on the Red in Fargo five times in Ripley’s tenure.
Ripley is an Iowa native and a four-sport athlete at Riceville High School — football, baseball, track and wrestling. He was fourth at state in his senior year on the mat at 132 pounds.
His father David was one of his wrestling coaches in high school, and was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013. In football, Ripley learned from another Hall of Fame coach in Robert Rasmussen, who led Riceville to a state championship in 1993 and was inducted into the Iowa Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994.
“I was extremely fortunate to have two Hall of Fame caliber coaches right there in a small town,” Ripley said. “Coach Rasmussen and my dad relied on and complemented one another as they successfully built small school football and wrestling power programs at Riceville. It was truly an honor to play and compete for both of these men.”
After a successful high school career, Ripley went to Winona State University, where he was a three-year stater on the Division II football field as a receiver. He made the All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference team as a senior, and finished his college career with 103 receptions for 1,624 yards and 17 touchdowns.
After college, Ripley returned to Iowa where his coaching career began in wrestling, although he did coach some baseball too. He was a wrestling coach at five different schools In Iowa in a 10-year span and had 14 state qualifiers, five place-winners (top six) and one state champion.
Ripley came to Jordan in 1998 and is a history teacher in the district at Jordan Middle School. In his 32 years in coaching, he’s been a head coach or a co-head coach for 31 of them.
At Scott West, Ripley was the co-head coach with current coach Jerold Stauffacher for 18 of his 22 years. Ripley ended his career with 500 career wins (500-145-5) in Iowa and Minnesota combined, including 151 state qualifiers, 85 place-winners and 13 individual state champions.