Loren Hacker

Loren Hacker – Canby, 2023 Lifetime Service Honoree

Loren Hacker’s life in wrestling began in the Canby wrestling room under the guidance and leadership of Hall of Fame coaches Gerry Gingles and Bill Bredeson. Wrestling on Canby’s first undefeated dual meet team, two Region III Team Championships and a fourth-place finish in the Individual State Tournament were the first steps in the journey.

In 1972, Coach Gingles took Loren to the Olympic Trials. Watching Saunders, Gable, Wells, the Petersons, and Taylor sparked Loren’s interest in Freestyle. Winning the State AAU Freestyle Championship provided Hacker the opportunity to compete on the MWCA Cultural Exchange Team that traveled to Scandinavia. Four more State Freestyle and Greco Titles and a National Junior Greco Championship followed. In Loren’s final Freestyle match, he served as captain of the Minnesota Junior Team competing against the Russian Junior Freestyle Team.

At the University of Minnesota, Morris, Hall of Fame coaches Doug Dufty and Mick Rose helped Hacker to earn D-III All-American Honors. Some of his most valuable lessons came at the hands of Duane and Dennis Kozlowski, and Tom Beyer. Tom would finish his wrestling practice at Morris High School, then come over to work out with the Kozlowskis. Duane and Dennis showed Loren the 15 most important minutes of practice come after the head coach blows the final whistle. Hacker explains, “The three of us would try to recreate the moves in Bobby Douglas’ stop-action picture book, “The Making of a Champion.” Persistently Perfecting Practice makes Perfect Performance.

Loren’s coaching career began at the U of M, Morris as a red-shirt volunteer under Mick Rose. Two years as Head Wrestling Coach at McIntosh, South Dakota, were followed by two years at Canby, Loren’s alma mater. With assistant coaches Bill Bredeson and Greg Kockelman, Canby won the Region Title both years. From there, Hacker went to Dawson-Boyd, which may have been the high point in Loren’s coaching career. Assistant Coach Ross Jurgenson was absolutely critical to the success that the Dawson-Boyd wrestling team enjoyed. The athletes, coaches, students, parents and staff at Dawson-Boyd still hold a special place in Loren’s heart.

Hacker explains, “Being a part of the coaching fraternity and experiencing the intensity of coaches like

Rick Kelvington and Gary Wolf provided a thrilling education. Seeding meetings were fun and interesting. Coaches really got to know each other. Watching Gary Hindt in action was a wonderful experience. Mike Bredeck taught me the value of staying after class at the seeding meeting.”

After 22 years as a coach, teacher, and principal at Dawson-Boyd, Hacker returned to Canby as Superintendent of Schools. Loren states, “Serving as Superintendent at Canby, Hendricks, MACCRAY, and Hancock are cherished years of service in my 40-year educational career. As an administrator, it was an honor to serve in a wide range of volunteer roles in support of wrestling. From serving on MSHSL Committees, to managing and supporting Section Individual and Dual Meet Tournaments, to working floor security at the State Wrestling Tournament for 16 years, it has been a special privilege to serve the tremendous sport we all love.”

“The blessings I have received from my family, my many team-mates, coaches, and wrestling parents, as well as the entire wrestling community, have had a profound influence on my life and shaped me as a person. My Lord and Savior has been my guide and companion along this awesome road. Through the grace of His sacrifice, many wonderful things have been laid upon my table. Life is a Path of Service.

One never knows when the Holy Spirit will provide a new opportunity for any of us.

Faith – Family – Service. Pay it Forward.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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