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Aho named MWCA assistant wrestling coach of the year

Marty Aho, a 44-year veterant coach for the Frazee wrestlinig team, was named the State assistant coach of the year by the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association. Aho and head coach Clay Nagel, right, led the Hornets to a state team runner-up finish this season. Tammie Nunn / Special to the Tribune

Frazee’s Marty Aho was selected as the State Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.

Joe Traen of Watertown-Mayer was named the State Head Coach of the Year.

Aho, along with Frazee assistants Dennis Schermerhorn, Travis Nagel, Steve Wilkowski, Brady Breitenfeldt, Scott Eischens and head coach Clay Nagel led the Hornets to a Class A runner-up finish this season.

Traen and Aho, along with MWCA Mr. Minnesota Wrestler selection Gable Steveson of Apple Valley will represent Minnesota at the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s (NWCA) awards, which qualifies them for further NWCA honors at the Regional and National levels.

The awards were announced along with 11 new members inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 28th in Benson, Minn.

The new inductees honored were Larry Goodnature, Mark Jensen, Ed Kane, Paul Kuznik, Pat McNamara, Chris Nelson, Jim Williams, and Roger Wilson. Also inducted as Pioneers of Minnesota Wrestling were Glenn Gerdes, Merv Jensen, and Fred Stoeker.

Aho grew up on a farm just outside of Frazee with older brother Mitchell (Mick), twin sister Marsha, younger sister, Michelle, and little brother, Mark. His father, Maynard, worked putting up drywall in the winter when he wasn’t farming and his mother, Marie, was a sewing plant manager. Older brother Mick was a basketball player, but Marty decided to go out for wrestling as an eighth grader. Marty really enjoyed the sport and was a district and region champ as a senior, but he did not place in the State Tournament. Brother Mark followed in Marty’s footsteps, placing fourth at state as a junior and bringing home a state title his senior season.

After graduation, Marty worked with his dad, taping drywall, and also with his mom at the sewing plant before taking a job with Snappy Furnace. He then married Diane and took over her dad’s dairy farm. Marty no longer has the dairy or the feeding cattle operation, but has continued to farm the land while also working at Steel–Wood Supplies in Detroit Lakes for the past 12 years. Diane works as a lab-tech at Sanford in Detroit Lakes.

Marty and Diane have three children. Son Matt, who placed third and first at state, currently serves as head wrestling coach at Becker. Matt and his wife, Laura, have one daughter and another one on the way. Daughter McKenzie, who gave up her own sports and activities to help her dad milk cows so he could continue coaching wrestling, is married to Mike Hamm a state runner-up for Frazee, and raising five children, four daughters and a son. Mike is an assistant wrestling coach at Moorhead. Youngest son, Adam, who was a state runner-up as a freshman, third as a junior, and state champion as a senior, and has a Frazee record 225 wins, currently serves as head wrestling coach at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Adam and his wife, Labrina, have two boys, providing Marty and Diane with a grand total of eight (soon to be nine) grandchildren.

Marty has thoroughly enjoyed his many years of coaching wrestling for his own Frazee Hornets and with Coaches Lamphere, Carr, Blixt, Schwanke, Dissmore, Nagel, Barlund, and Nagel.

Marty’s Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year nomination was submitted by fellow coach Travis Nagel, who stated:

Marty Aho has been an assistant wrestling coach and an integral part of the Frazee Wrestling Program for the past 44 years. He was born and raised just outside of Frazee where he attended high school and competed for the Hornets. His total dedication to Frazee Wrestling started the very first day he stepped on the Frazee wrestling practice mat and has continued to grow every day since. Throughout the years, Marty has preached the importance of fundamental technique, physical strength, mental toughness, and endurance as keys to success in the sport of wrestling. Marty’s handprint as well as his patented armbar can be seen at every level of Hornet Wrestling. As head coaches have come and gone, Marty has remained a constant cornerstone of Frazee Wrestling helping the program to flourish under coaches like Clay Nagel and John Barlund. He has been a master at pushing countless young wrestlers past their comfort zone in running stairs, drilling technique, and live wrestling. Marty has always been a proponent of a strong youth program, helping administrate and promote the Frazee Mat Rat Program at every opportunity. Over the years, Marty has been a major contributor to Frazee’s 630-151-7 dual meet record along with 21 Heart O’Lakes Titles, 24 Section 8A Championships, 22 State Team Place-winners, and 4 Class A State Team Championships. In that same time span, Frazee has produced 101 Individual State Place-winners, including 22 Individual State Champions. I cannot think of another coach more deserving of the Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year Award than Frazee’s own Marty Aho. On behalf of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association, we echo that sentiment.

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