Richard Shiels

One if the great coaches from southern Minnesota was that of Faribault's Dick Shiels. Shiels led the Faribault Falcons to two state consolation championships in 1977 and 1982 and three Region titles in 1967, 1977, 1982, while finishing second five times. The Falcons also captured five titles in the tough Big Nine Conference under Shiels. Dick attended Fairmont High School as a freshman and sophomore then his family moved to Waterloo, Iowa where he attended West Waterloo High School. This is the same school where legendary Dan Gable wrestled under coaching legend Bob Siddens. After graduation in 1948 he then attended Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). Shiels served his country well by fulfilling a military tour of duty during the Korean War for three years. He came back to Iowa State Teachers College and graduated in 1956. He began his teaching and coaching career in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa school system where he taught and coached at the junior high level. In 1960, Dick moved to Faribault, were he was a teacher, coach, counselor, and later Principal for 33 years. An assistant to Jerry Schroeder for five years, Dick took over the head coach wrestling job in 1965, coaching until 1983. He retired from education in 1993, along with his wife, Betty. Shiels coached 8 individual state champions and 46 state place winners, several of these in the old one class system. Considering the tough competition back then in Region One only compliments these already impressive numbers. However, even with tough individual athletes on his teams Shiels understood importance of coaching all the athletes. He would always say, "Good kids will always win, but the average kids win the dual meets for you." Dick's remaining 12 years in education was spent as a counselor and junior high Principal. He certainly served many students and teachers. He is also proud of his family. His son, Mark, is a medical doctor in Rockford, Illinois. Tim, a well known official at the collegiate level who was an All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota-Morris and former coach at St. Olaf College. Daughter, Barbara, is an attorney for the University of Minnesota. Youngest daughter, Betsy, is employed by Amerprise. Dick Shiels was a part of powerful southern Minnesota Wrestling history during some of its most formative years. He coached some of the best teams in the State. He helped make Faribault wrestling a well-known powerhouse in Minnesota High School Wrestling and he helped motivate many young people to successful lives, whether on the mats or off. Shiels will always be remembered among some of Minnesota's finest coaches.


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