Don Jantzen, who coached wrestling at Shoreham-Wading River High School from 1993 to 2007, will be posthumously inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in April.
Jantzen, who died March 4, 2015 at age 60, will be recognized for his lifetime service to the sport, which began as a county champion at Comsewogue High School and continued with a four-year career at C.W. Post before becoming one of the most recognizable and influential coaches at the high school level on Long Island.
Jantzen coached the junior varsity as Shoreham from 1993-2001 and took over as the varsity coach from 2001-2007. He retired after his youngest son Corey won his second state championship as a senior for the Wildcats in ’07. Jesse Jantzen, a 2000 SWR graduate, won four state titles and is regarded as one of the all-time great wrestlers in New York history.
Jesse and Corey perfected the crab ride technique, a move their father taught them and became known as the “Jantzen ride.” The brothers combined for 393 varsity wins during their careers at SWR and both wrestled for Harvard University. Jesse won an NCAA title at Harvard in 2004.
“Those who wrestled for [Don Jantzen] described his style as inspirational,” according to a press release from The Friends of Long Island Wrestling. “He fostered a love for the sport and convinced his grapplers to use wrestling as a vehicle to improve their lives.”
Jantzen was instrumental in starting the youth wrestling program in the Shoreham district. He also coached at Comsewogue prior to Shoreham.
The induction ceremony will be held April 28, 2017 at the Melville Marriott.
Photo credit: Friends of Long Island Wrestling