One of the most successful wrestling coaches in the NAIA, Thadd O'Donnell begins his 17th season at the helm of the Dickinson State University wrestling program.
In the last thirteen seasons, Coach O'Donnell has guided 155 student-athletes towards NAIA National Wrestling Tournament qualification. It's of statistical importance that over these thirteen years, O'Donnell has averaged 11.9 national qualifiers per year; the NAIA maximum is 12.
During his DSU career, O'Donnell has mentored 67 wrestlers to All-American status and coached 5 individual national champions. In 2007, DSU's Justin Schlecht was named NAIA National Wrestler of the Year under O'Donnell's tutelage.
In his fifteen seasons guiding DSU, O'Donnell has led the Blue Hawks to 11 NAIA Top-10 National finishes. DSU placed third as a team in 2007-08, third in 2006-07, fourth in 2005-06, fourth in 1999-00, sixth in 2009-10, sixth in 2008-09, eighth in 2004-05, tenth in 2002-03, tenth in 1998-99, tenth in 1997-98, and placed tenth in 1996-97. The Blue Hawks also finished eleventh in 2000-01, thirteenth in 2003-04, and sixteenth in 2001-02.
Coach O'Donnell has earned 8 regional and conference coach of the year awards during his tenure. O'Donnell was named NAIA North Region Coach of the Year in 2009-10, 2008-09, 2007-08, 2006-07, and in 2005-06. In his first year as coach of the Hawks in 1995-96, O'Donnell was named Co-Great Plains Region Coach of the Year. In 1997-98 and 1998-99 Coach O'Donnell was named NDCAC Coach of the Year. O'Donnell's 1999-2000 team earned the Sportsmanship Award at the NAIA National Wrestling Tournament.
O'Donnell is very active in the summer, putting on wrestling camps throughout the region. He has been the director of camps and clinics in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho.
A native of Baker, Montana, O'Donnell earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and mathematics education from Dickinson State University in 1991 and a master's degree in physical education from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1993. O'Donnell served as a graduate assistant wrestling coach while attending NSU.
Upon graduation from Northern State, O'Donnell taught and coaches wrestling at Lusk High School in Lusk, Wyoming until joining the Blue Hawk athletic staff in 1995.
A three time All-American at 134 lbs. for Dickinson State, O'Donnell holds the school record for most pins in a career (56 from 1985-89), most pins in a season (20 in 1985-86), and most wins by a freshman (36 in 1985-86).
O'Donnell was runner-up in the NAIA National Wrestling Tournament as a sophomore. He also placed seventh at nationals as a freshman and eighth as a senior.
He helped lead the 1985-86 squad to an eighth place finish at nationals, which at the time was the highest finish ever for a DSU wrestling team until the team's fourth place finish in 2000-01.
O'Donnell was named to the Dickinson State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
In addition to serving as the head wrestling coach, O'Donnell is also the head men's and women's cross country coach and an assistant professor of health and physical education at Dickinson State. From 1995-2001, O'Donnell served as an assistant football coach at DSU.
O'Donnell resides in Dickinson with his wife Tracie and their two children, Danielle and Seth. Danielle is a freshman on the DSU volleyball team and member of the TR Honors Program.
|Elias Armendariz||JR||125||Pahrump, Nev.|
|Jason Armitage||FR||157||Edgeley, ND|
|Meyer Bohn||FR||240||Bismarck, ND|
|Chris Brusato||JR||157||Sacramento, CA|
|Alexander Buelua||FR||141||Chandler, AR|
|Skyler Carroll||FR||184||Livingston, MT|
|Trevor Conrad||FR||197||Glendive, MT|
|Kenneth Finlayson||SO||165||Riverton, Wyo.|
|Austin "Rudy" Frazier||FR||125||Vancouver, WA|
|Ricardo Gonzales||FR||157||Elk Grove, CA|
|Kevin Hansen||JR||141||Kotzebue, AK|
|Jeremiah Hayes||SO||141||Shelby, Mont.|
|Jesse Hellinger||SO||184||Winters, CA||Sacremento City College|
|Colton Hill||SO||285||Glasgow, Mont.|
|Kevin Keisler||FR||197||Vacaville, CA|
|Bryden Lazaro||SO||125||Fair Oaks, CA|
|Jose Lopez||JR||285||Montebello, Calif.|
|Sergio Martinez||SR||125||Tehachapi, Calif.|
|Cole McArthur||FR||165||Ronan, MT|
|Robert Meador||SO||125||Madison, Va.|
|Jonathan Morales||SO||184||Santa Maria, Calif.|
|Adam Orton||SR||141||Evanston, Wyo.|
|Manny Reyes||FR||141||Chandler, Ariz.|
|Nestor Ruelas||JR||157||Farmersville, CA|
|Jake Sherburne||SO||149||American Falls, ID|
|Brad Steele||SR||149||Beach, N.D.|
|Clayton Steinmetz||FR||125||Hot Springs, SD|
|Colter Steinmetz||FR||132||Hot Springs, SD|
|Pat Tangen||FR||149||South Heart, ND|
|Garrett Traylor||SO||149||Moorcroft, Wyo.|
|Jake Wiffler||FR||141||Rio Linda, CA|
|Kylan Zumpf||FR||125||Miles City, MT|