Jim Zalesky

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"Zalesky" redirects here. For a similar surname, see Zaleski.
Jim Zalesky
Weight 158 lb (72 kg).
College University of Iowa
NCAA championships 3
Status Head Coach for Oregon State University

Jim Zalesky is American college wrestling coach and is currently the head wrestling coach for the Oregon State Beavers and a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Prior to joining the Beavers, he was the coach of the University of Iowa wrestling team from 1998–2006. At Iowa, he succeeded Dan Gable as head coach, under whom he was a three-time NCAA champion. He guided the Hawkeyes to NCAA team championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000.

Wrestling career[edit]

Jim was a four-time All-American at Iowa from 1981–84. He won the NCAA individual title in the 158 pound division in 1982, 1983, and 1984. He went undefeated his last two years, ending his college career with an 89 match winning streak.[1] At the 1984 NCAA Championships he was named Most Outstanding Wrestler. Amateur Wrestling News named him "Wrestler of the Decade" for the 1980s. This occurred as part of a streak during which the University of Iowa wrestling team won seven consecutive national titles.[2]

He narrowly missed earning a position on the Olympic wrestling team by finishing second in the 163 pound division at the U.S. National competition.[3]

Zalesky is a member of the United States Coaches Association, and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Despite coaching the Hawkeyes to three NCAA team championships in nine years, with a runner-up finish as recently as 2004[4] and a 4th Place finish in 2006, Zalesky was fired as Iowa's head coach on March 30, 2006. Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby cited a decline in the program under Zalesky and the need for a change as the reasons.

Oregon State's prior head coach, Joe Wells, retired a few days later leaving the program on a high note ending with a 13-2-1 record for the 2005-06 season. Zalesky was announced as Oregon State's new head coach on April 14, 2006. Under Zalesky, the Beavers won five consecutive Pac-12 titles from 2012 to 2016.


  1. ^ "Putting The Clamps On The Crown". CNN. March 19, 1984. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Wrestler Zalesky helps Iowa to 7th straight title". The Dallas Morning News. March 11, 1984. p. 11B. 
  3. ^ a b "Oregon State Biography: Jim Zalesky". Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Jim Zalesky Named Wrestling Coach At Oregon State". Retrieved February 18, 2010.