Dr. John Berg

Dr. John Berg of New Prague, Minnesota, has been a driving force in promoting the sport of wrestling in New Prague and the surrounding area.

He has organized youth programs that are still ongoing and used his experience and knowledge to assist in caring for the medical needs of the wrestlers and their fans.

Dr. John graduated from St. Thomas Military Academy in 1960. That high school never had a wrestling team at that time. He next attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in geography. He passed on opportunities to do graduate work in geography and/or join the CIA, instead choosing to attend medical school.

He married Ann Penzi of Tucson, Arizona in 1967.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis and interned at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. Dr. John then began his medical practice in family medicine in 1968 in Montgomery. He moved seven miles north to New Prague in 1972 and established the Parkview Medical Clinic and was in solo practice for two years.

He and Ann built a new clinic building in 1973 and hired two associate doctors. The practice grew and Drs. John, Mark and Daniel Berg built a new clinic building in 2004 to include seven physicians and a physical therapist. Family physicians in rural small towns have an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences to give back and be a leader and volunteer.

He formed the youth New Prague Wrestling, Inc. after recognizing the need to create a stronger youth organization. He was also involved in many other organizations. He was a member and past president of the Southern Minnesota Medical Association, the Scott-Carver Medical Society, the Nicollet-LeSueur Medical Society, the Queen of peace Hospital in New Prague, the New Prague Chamber of Commerce, Troop 323 Boy Scout Troop Committee and the Parkview Medical Clinic.

Dr. John was a member of the Minnesota Heart Institute medical advisory committee for over 15 years and a member of the House of Delegates of the Minnesota Medical Association for over 30 years. He was LeSueur County coroner for 27 years and was the LeSueur county medical consultant for over 44 years. He practiced family medicine for over 49 years retiring in 2018 because of peripheral neuropathy.

In 2000 he received the WCCO Good Neighbor Award for coaching youth sports including wrestling and baseball. In 2004, he was elected to the New Prague High School Athletic Hall of Fame for coaching and volunteering. In 2007 he received the Minnesota State Athletic Directors Association Award for community involvement in high school sports. In 2014 he received the MSHSL Distinguished Service Award for recognition for many years of outstanding service to the athletic programs of Region 1AA. He volunteered to be a MSHSL tournament physician and skin check physician from 1991 to 2017 with all of his earnings donated to the New Prague wrestling program. He was head coach and director of New Prague elementary wrestling from 1973-98.

He founded New Prague Wrestling Inc. as a non-profit tasked with producing youth wrestling programs for New Prague. Under his leadership, participation grew annually to over 100 wrestlers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He developed an elementary wrestling weekend tournament program in the local area along with Burt Block (Le Center) and Vince Wilmes (Waterville) that soon expanded to over 15 towns.

He was active with Jaycee, USWF and MN/USA . He promoted and organized a two week summer wrestling camp for three years. He was an assistant coach in the high school from 1998-2006 as well as the ninth grade coach. He has been a financial supporter of the New Prague wrestling booster club and lately serves on the planning committee of the successful wrestling booster club golf tournament.

In 2013 the annual New Prague kid wrestling tournament which he founded in 1977 was renamed the Doc Berg Classic recognizing both Drs. Mark and John Berg. With the help of his family and many other New Prague wrestling families, coaches and alumni, this tournament has taken place these past 44 continuous years and has used the proceeds of the tournament to help defray the expenses of running the youth wrestling program.

Dr. John and Ann have four adult children. They are John Berg III (Wendy), Dr. Mark Berg (Julie), Dr, Daniel Berg (Tara) and Victoria Fors (Dr. Tait) and fourteen grand children. He is retired in his home in New Prague and leaves for Florida in the winter. He is very honored to be selected to receive this award.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame--Minnesota Chapter recognizes Dr. John Berg as a deserved 2021 inductee for the Lifetime Service Award.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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