Mike Hendrickson began his Varsity wrestling career for the Morris Tigers in 1977 as an eighth-grader. He was coached by his father, National Hall of Fame, and Dave Bartelma Hall of Famer, Alan Hendrickson. As a senior, Mike was a runner-up in the 1982 MSHSL State Tournament. He continued his wrestling career at the University of Minnesota Morris while wrestling for the late Craig Olsen. At Morris, Mike earned NAIA All-American honors in 1986. In doing so, he helped the Cougars reach their highest ever team place at the National Tournament in Minot, ND. At UMM Mike earned his elementary education degree and coaching certificate.
After graduation, Mike got a teaching job in Little Falls. During his 34-year teaching career there, he taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. Mike coached wrestling for 34 years, football for 15 years, cross country for 15 years, and baseball for 8 years. His wife Allison, a native of Little Falls, is also a teacher. She and Mike’s 2 daughters were always very supportive of his extracurricular activities. One of Mike’s greatest pleasures was coaching his daughters, Mattia and Kendal, in cross country.
At Little Falls, Mike was able to emulate two great wrestling coaches. They were Dave Bartelma Hall of Famer Bill Hubbard and Ben Bendson. The two former Head coaches were instrumental in starting and then developing a strong wrestling tradition in Little Falls. Mike took it upon himself to continue that legacy started by these two gentlemen.
Over the years Mike was fortunate to work with many great assistant coaches. They all shared in the mantra that became Flyer wrestling. “Nothing in life worth fighting for is easy. You need to earn your victories. Good things happen to people that work hard!” Coach Hendrickson’s vision for the Flyer program was to create something kids would be proud to have been involved in. He takes great pride in seeing the many former Flyer wrestlers who come back each year to the wrestling room because they miss being a part of something special. He also sees it in his coaching staff. They have been mostly Flyer alumni that chose to continue to be a part of the program.
In Coach Hendrickson’s 34 years at Little Falls, he coached wrestling at all levels including elementary, middle school, and high school. Mike was the Head coach for the last 25 years of his career. His teams recorded over 400 victories during his tenure, and they earned 3 State team appearances. Their highest finish was 4th place in 2006. Mike was named AA State Coach of the Year in 2006. Individually, he coached over 80 State entrants and 21 State medalists including 6 finalists. Currently, Mike is a wrestling official with the St. Cloud Official’s Association.
Lifetime Service to Wrestling