photo courtesy of MSUM athletics
The Minnesota Moorhead wrestling program was established in 1952, and has competed in NCAA Division II since the 1995-96 season. In 25 years as an NCAA Division II program, the Dragons have 28 All-Americans after sending 83 total National Qualifiers to the NCAA Division II National Championships. Kris Nelson closed out his 11th season as the head coach at Minnesota Moorhead in 2019-20.
The Dragons had one National Qualifier in 2019-20, with Braydon Ortloff finishing third at 165 at the Super Region 5 Tournament to make his first trip to Nationals. The Moorhead sophomore was the first to qualify for the Dragons at 165 since 2009. Two of the 83 National Qualifiers in Dragon history have come back as National Champions, with Nate Baker winning the 165 lbs title in 2006 and Nate Henrickson taking the 167 lbs championship in 1997.
Jordan Magnuson joins Ortloff back in the Dragon starting lineup for 2020-21, having qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships in 2019 at heavyweight. In total, seven return to the Minnesota Moorhead starting lineup from a season ago. Magnuson finished 5th at last year’s Regional, while Mason Schulz (141) and Evan Foster (174) also return for the Dragons after sixth place regional finishes last season.