Coaches

Jesse Armbruster

Jesse Armbruster (Faribault ’92), a former All-State wrestler for the Falcons, was named the 9th Head Coach in the history of the Faribault Wrestling program in 2001.  In the 2009-10 season, he will enter his 17th season as a member of the Faribault coaching staff, the last eight as the Head Coach. He also teaches Science at the Faribault Middle School.

Armbruster was one of the top lightweight wrestlers in the history of the Faribault Wrestling program.  Voted team captain and team MVP, he holds All-Conference certificates as well as All-State honors.  Armbruster, a member of Faribault’s Career Win Club, was selected to the 1992 Minnesota All-Star Team and competed in the prestigious National High School Wrestling Championships, finishing 5-2.

Armbruster continued his wrestling career at Augsburg College. A four-year letter winner for the NCAA powerhouse Auggies, he finished his career with 134 wins, and once again, was regarded as one of the best in school history. Winner of three conference championships and named the team duals conference Outstanding Wrestler in ’94, Armbruster went on to earn three NCAA All-American certificates placing third in 1994, second in 1996 and winning the NCAA National Championship in 1995. He was voted team MVP twice, competed for two National Championship teams, and captained the 1995 Championship team as well as the 1996 NCAA Runner-up Team.

As a coach, Armbruster headed the Faribault club program during the mid 90’s while competing at Augsburg. In 1996, he was named Region 1 and MN/USA Coach of the Year. He began his full-time coaching career at Augsburg and assisted under legendary Coach Jeff Swenson and helped aid the Auggies in winning the NCAA Team Championship in 1997. Armbruster was named to the Faribault staff and assisted under Tim Tousignant where he was named Region 1AAA Assistant Coach of the Year in ’98. In his tenure, Armbruster has coached 37 High School All-Conference wrestlers, 30 State Entrants, and 19 All-State athletes. He has sat in the corner of seven State Championship matches and celebrated three Individual State Championships. Armbruster was honored to sit in the championship corner of Brady Wilson during the 2005 National High School National Championships. Armbruster also serves as an assistant on the MN Storm National Team.  Jesse lives in Faribault with his wife Amanda and daughter McKayla.

John Roach

John Roach (Faribault ’82) a member of the famed 1982 wrestling team, which has been regarded as one of the best teams in the history of Faribault Wrestling.  The team won the Big Nine championship, Region 1AA championship, and represented us at the State Tournament where they were crowned Consolation champions.  Roach also won an Individual Regional title and competed in the ’82 State Tournament.

Roach began coaching the Falcons in 2007, the same year his oldest son Brandon was a senior for the Falcons at 145 lbs.  John resides in Faribault with his wife Brenda, daughters Colleen and Alanna.  Brandon, and oldest daughter Dana, are both students at UM-Duluth.

Jeremy Jirele

Jeremy Jirele (Owatonna ’98), a former standout from rival Owatonna High School, Jeremy was a 129-match winner and All-State athlete for the Huskies, finishing as a State Runner-up at 145 pounds in 1998.  Jirele also served as team captain of the 1998 State Championship team.  Jirele competed in the National High School Championships, finishing 2-2 and was also selected to represent Team Minnesota in the All-Star series against Team Wisconsin.

Jeremy went on to wrestle for powerhouse Augsburg College where he was a two-time national qualifier and part of three NCAA Championships teams.  Jeremy was also a three-time NWCA All-American.  Jeremy was named the Head Coach of Blooming Prairie out of college and was with the team until 2008.  Last season, he coached at Medford High School.  Coach Jirele works for Faribault Energy Park & Minnesota River Station as the plant administrator and currently resides in Owatonna with his son Jayden.

Brad Babcock

Brad Babcock (Faribault ‘90), a member of two Big Nine Championship wrestling squads,  Babcock was the spark plug in the lower weights for the mighty Falcons during the late 80’s.  Coach Babcock wrestled one of the finest Regional Championships by any Falcon.  Entering the 1990 Championships, Brad was seeded #3 behind two wrestlers from Apple Valley and Rochester Mayo, who were both regarded as untouchable and projected to represent their schools at the State Tournament.  In the semifinals, Brad dominated and ensured himself a place in the 1990 Individual State Tournament.  We will never forget the parade around the mat, arms held high in victory as he celebrated with coaches and teammates.

Coach Babcock enrolled at Normandale and competed in football, only to return to Faribault and assist Dave Henry in 1991.  Babcock was hired full-time in 2001 and has been part of the varsity program ever since.  He took over the Youth Program in 2001 and has been extremely involved in rebuilding a feeder program that was once required as a leader throughout the state.  Since Babcock has taken over, numbers have grown from the mid 30’s in grades K-5 to well over 150 the last three years.  The Green Machine youth program has also greatly improved over the past few years and it looks as if Faribault will once again be ready to compete for Big Nine, Section, and State championships. Coach Babcock is also coaching at the Faribault Middle School and is working hard to improve numbers that will one day represent Faribault at the State Tournament.

Chad Gunhus

Chad Gunhus (Faribault ’93) another member of Faribault’s All-time Win Club.  Gunhus was as technical in his style as he was in his ability.  Gunhus captained the 1993 team that won the Regional Championship and won the Team Consolation State Championship.  Chad also represented Faribault on the individual level, representing Region 1AA as its champion, and claimed All-State honors as he finished his final season as a State Runner-up at 130 lbs.  For his efforts, his team voted him MVP.

Gunhus went on to compete for Mankato State and was part of a National Runner-up team in 1995.  He began his coaching career in Faribault during the 2007-08 season.  Gunhus currently resides in Burnsville and works for the Burnsville Parks in maintenance.

Dave Wieber

Dave Wieber (St. Cloud Cathedral ’84), came to Faribault in 1990 as a Physical Science Teacher and began his coaching career in 1993-94 season.  Wieber is a member of a staff that has coached two Big Nine Championships teams, four Section Championship teams, and State Tournament teams that have placed 5th in 1993, 5th in 1994, 3rd in 1995, and 3rd in 1996.  He has assisted in coaching 25 Individual Section champs, 51 State Entrants, and 31 All-State athletes.  Of the 31 All-State athletes, 13 of those have wrestled for Individual State Championships with eight claiming the top prize. 

As a three-sport athlete himself (football, wrestling, and track), Wieber understands the importance of being active and involved.  Not only is Dave a member of the wrestling coaching staff but also heads the Faribault Track Program since 2000, after serving as assistant since 1990.  Wieber was named Assistant Coach of the Year in 1996, and named Section 1AA Head Coach of the Year in 2007.

Dave lives in Faribault with wife, Ann, and daughters, Alison and Meredith.

Tom Dolezal

Tom Dolezal (Danube ’77). Tom began his association with Faribault Wrestling when his youngest son, John, became interested in wrestling.  He and his wife Val became valuable members of the Faribault Wrestling Club assisting with everything from tournaments to fundraising.  Today, both are still very active in club fundraising efforts and, even though, Johnny has graduated (In 1998, John finished his career with the third most wins in the history of Faribault Wrestling with 140.  He remains in the top five today), Coach Tom can still be found shouting encouragement to those who put on the green singlet.  Tom helped coach the Freestyle program from 1989-1994, Middle School from 1994-2006, High School from 1994-1997, and the Youth since 2007

Coach Dolezal serves as the Youth Wrestling Coach and lives in Lonsdale with his wife Val.