Olympic wrestler Jake Deitchler is a Gopher again.
Head coach J Robinson announced Thursday that the Anoka, Minn., product and three-time state champion has signed a grant-in-aid agreement and plans to enroll at the University of Minnesota for the fall semester.
The 2007 NHSCA Junior National Champion at 145 pounds, Deitchler represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in the 66 kg./145.5 lb. Greco-Roman division, becoming the first high school wrestler to make the U.S. Olympic team since Mike Farina in 1976.
Following the Olympics, Deitchler decided to train and wrestle full time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs rather than enroll at the University right away. The opportunity to compete with USA Wrestling gave Deitchler the chance to take on the best wrestlers on the planet in meets in countries all over the world, including Russia, Sweden, Turkey, Cuba and China.
Still, a desire to take to the mat at the NCAA Championships and complete his education at the University of Minnesota continued to call him home.
“I made the U.S. Olympic team at a very young age and that gave me a lot of insight and experience,” Deitchler said. “But at the same time I really missed Minnesota wrestling. I want to wrestle in the NCAA tournament and I’m excited to be part of this team. To win an NCAA championship as a team and as an individual are the goals.
“I still have a passion for Greco-Roman wrestling and I will continue to try to make the U.S. World and Olympic teams during the spring and summer. But when I’m there, I’m there to be at the University of Minnesota and help the Gophers win.”
Robinson said that he was happy that Deitchler had reevaluated his decision to compete at the collegiate level while pursuing his education.
“The entire Olympic experience was a whirlwind for Jake,” Robinson said. “Achieving what Jake did at a very young age can be overwhelming at times. The college wrestling experience is like no other in the world and we’re thrilled that Jake has decided to rejoin the Minnesota program.”
Deitchler, the 2007 Junior Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year for 2007, Minnesota’s Mr. Wrestling for both 2007 and 2008, and one of the highest-ranked recruits in the class of 2008 regardless of weight class, originally signed a national letter of intent with the Gophers in November of 2007.
The five-time state placewinner compiled a 201-38 record as a prep and was a dominating 125-1 over his last three seasons.