Clay Nagel

One of the most decorated coaches in Minnesota Wrestling History is Clay Nagel, out of Frazee, Minnesota. His highly successful programs at Frazee High School in the northwestern part of the state, along with his continued success as a college coach at Concordia College, certainly make him more than qualified for induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Minnesota Chapter. Born in Mandan, North Dakota, in 1957, Clay was a two-time State Wrestling Champion at New Salem High School (ND). He was also named to the 1977 Scholastic High School All American team. In addition, Nagel was a North Dakota Greco Roman "Juniors" Champion. He also excelled in football, being named to play in the annual North Dakota Shrine Football game. Out of high school Clay first attended Bismarck Junior College where he was a two-time All-American. He went on to wrestle at North Dakota State for one season, then transferring to Dickinson State College. At Dickinson, he was an NAIA Region Champion in 1981. As a wrestling coach, Nagel accumulated an impressive overall 511-129-2 dual meet coaching record, compiled with 5 years at Beach HS (ND) and 22 years at Frazee HS (MN). In total, Nagel's high school teams produced 167 State qualifiers, 83 State Placewinners, 35 State Finalists and 20 State Champions. Seven of those wrestlers went on to become All-Americans in college. In his 17 years of coaching at Frazee HS his Hornets teams won three Minnesota State Championships and 13 team Section titles. Nagel's Frazee teams placed 5th in State in 1989, second in 1991, Champions in 1992, 3rd in 1994, 3rd in 1995, 3rd in 1997, Champions in 1999, 2nd in 2000, 3rd in 2001, Co-Champions in 2002, 3rd in 2003 and 2004, 4th in 2015, 2nd in 2017 and 2nd in 2018. He was named Minnesota Class A "Coach of the Year" in 1999. He was also named Region "Coach of the Year" seven times and Sub-Section "Coach of the Year six times. In 1999 he was elected President of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association. In addition to Clay's high school coaching, he started a USA Regional Training Site in Frazee in 1975. Clay says one of his biggest honors was coaching with Dan Chandler, Ed Kane, Andre Harnitz and Dudley Flodeen in Freestyle and Greco Roman Wrestling. From high school coaching, Nagel took on college coaching at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN for nine seasons. His career coaching total at Concordia was 79-35. He coached eleven NCAA All-Americans. His Concordia teams placed 5th, 6th and 2nd at the DIII National Duals. A highlight for him was his Cobber team defeating the powerhouse Augsburg College in a dual meet in 2010-11. The highest finish at the national tournament for his Concordia teams was 9th place. The highest finish in school history. Clay says one of his greatest pleasures was coaching his sons, Travis and Matt. Travis was a 3-time State Placewinner, placed 3rd once and 2nd twice in high school. He went on to wrestle at Moorhead State and was a 4-year starter and 2-time AllAmerican and was voted "Outstanding Wrestler" his Senior year. Matt was Minnesota's first 5-Time State Champion. He went on to wrestle for the University of Minnesota and was a four year starter and a D1 All-American in 2003. He was also a 4-time Greco Roman Champion. Clay also had the pleasure of coaching his daughter Kali in 6th grade softball. Kali was also involved in Volleyball and was a State participant in Gymnastics. Clay says his being raised on a Dairy farm with six siblings, definitely taught him many good life lessons. Clay also says the influence of his brother Lee made him choose teaching and coaching as a profession. Lee is a member of the North Dakota Coaches Hall of Fame for Wrestling and Tennis. Clay also credits all his fine assistant coaches he worked with at both the high school and college levels. His college coaches Ed Kringstad at Bisnmarck Junior College and Terry Burgess at Dickinson State were also great influences for him. Lastly, but most important Clays says is the support he has had of his wife, Lori. A 44 year marriage with raising three kids, Lori always encouraged her husband to "keep believing." And "she was right!" Congratulations to an outstanding coach in Clay Nagel on his 2021 Induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations