April 9, 2003
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Kraig Presler today announced his resignation as head wrestling coach at Augustana College.
At the same time, Jason Reitmeier, Vikings assistant coach for the past six seasons, was appointed head coach.
"Augustana holds, and will continue to hold, a special place in my heart," Presler said. "However, a desire to spend more time with my family leads me to this decision."
Kraig Presler & Jason Reitmeier
A 1983 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II All-American at 126 pounds, Presler compiled a 33-24 record competing for Augustana. He was a graduate assistant with the Vikings during the 1984-85 season. The Sauk Centre, Minn., native served as the Vikings' interim wrestling coach during the 1989-90 season. Prior to taking the Augustana job, he was the assistant wrestling coach at Willmar, Minn., Community College and taught mathematics at New London-Spicer, Minn., Junior High School.
Since taking the helm before the start of the 1990-91 season, Presler has coached four North Central Conference champions and 24 All-Americans. Heavyweight James Garvey (1999-2002) became only the second wrestler in Augustana history to earn All-American recognition four times, while heavyweight Lee Pulse (1992-94) was a three-time All-American.
In 1997, Reitmeier, wrestling at 142 pounds, won the NCAA Division II national championship.
This year's team, one of the youngest in Presler's tenure as head coach, climbed to as high as No. 4 in Division II and qualified six wrestlers for the national tournament. Sophomore Tom Meester was the top-ranked 174-pounder in Division II and was contending for a national championship when he was stricken with the flu and was unable to compete in the North Central Conference tournament.
Kraig and his wife, JoAnn, live in Sioux Falls with their three children - Kasey, Adam, and Sarah.
Reitmeier, who graduated from Augustana in 1997, compiled an outstanding 64-7 record in two seasons with the Vikings. In his last match he defeated Ryan Vratil of Central Oklahoma 7-2 for the 142-pound title at the NCAA Division II championships. He was the first Augie wrestler to win a national title since Koln Knight won the 190-pound crown in 1986.
In his first season with Augie Reitmeier wrestled at 134 pounds and posted a 33-4 record. He won the North Central Conference championship and finished third in the Division II nationals.
"I'm truly excited," Reitmeier said. "Kraig has done a wonderful job of preparing me for this challenge. I'm sure there will be some rough spots along the way. I'm a young coach, this is a young team and we'll learn together as we go. I'm grateful to Augustana for giving me the opportunity to be a head coach."
Reitmeier and his wife, Stacy, are the parents of one son, Wyatt.