Dan Jinks

Dan Jinks, son of Al and Marion Jinks was born and raised in Grand Rapids Minnesota with three sisters, Susan, Barbara, and Mellissa. While growing up, Dan’s parents understood and appreciated athletics and what it offered young people. Their support and encouragement were tremendous.

While attending Grand Rapids High School Dan was a three-sport athlete. In track, he was a three-time letter winner throwing the shot and discus. Dan was also a three-time letter winner in football. He captained the football team his senior year and earned All-Conference honors as a Defensive Tackle. In wrestling, Dan had the privilege of wrestling for legendary Hall of Fame coach Skip Nalan. Earning 2 letters, and capping off his senior year with a Region Championship and State Tournament berth. After graduation in 1973, Dan attended Moorhead State College. While there he lettered in both football and wrestling. Dan graduated in 1978 with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Health Education and Physical Education.

In 1978 Dan took a job in Ellsworth Minnesota as a Physical Education and Health Education teacher. His coaching duties included Asst. Track, Asst. Football and Head Wrestling. And if that was not enough, also taught drivers education.

In 1980 Dan accepted a position back in his hometown of Grand Rapids. He taught Elementary Physical Education and Adaptive Physical Education. He also served as Asst. Track, Asst. Football and Asst. Wrestling coach. Upon Skip Nalan’s retirement in 1984, Dan assumed the Head Wrestling job at Grand Rapids High School.

Dan was the Head Coach at Grand Rapids for 30 seasons. One of his greatest highlights during that time was having both his son and daughter involved in the program with him. His son Jacob captained the 1999 team and won a section championship that season. Daughter Jennifer was a team manager for 7 seasons.

Dan Jinks becomes the ninth member of the storied Grand Rapids High School Wrestling Program to be inducted into this elite Hall of Fame. Dan is the all-time winningest coach in Grand Rapids wrestling history with a record of 416-196-3. He coached 115 individual state qualifiers, 48 individual state place winners, and 6 individual state champions. His teams won 14 Conference championships and 8 section team titles. His team was a state runner-up in 1987. Seven of Dan’s wrestlers went on to earn All-American honors at the collegiate level.

Dan was named Section Coach of the Year 9 times. He served as Section 7AAA Representative for 9 years, from 1987-1996. In 2005-2006 Dan served as President of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.

Dan was inducted into the Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame in October 2020.

Longtime friend Steve Lynch wrote “his kids wrestled hard for him. The bonds he formed as a coach and leader influenced many kids on the edge of school and society to stick with the sport. And a great many of them have successful stories to tell of their time in Jinks’ room”.

Dan states, “All I ever wanted to do was to give something back to a sport that has given me so much”. He retired from the sport in 2017 after 36 years of coaching.

Dan enjoys hunting, boating, and fishing. He resides at his lake home in Bowstring Township Minnesota with the love of his life Lori. He has two children that he is extremely proud of, a son Jacob (wife Stacy), and a daughter Jennifer (husband Chad).


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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