Coaching Staff and Leadership

St Paul Wrestling Academy was chartered in 2020 under Minnesota Statue 317A with File Number 117583600029.

Coaching Staff:

Jayson Ness
Co-Head Coaching Coordinator, St Paul Wrestling Academy

Coach Jayson Ness adds to the St Paul Wrestling Academy a wealth of experience from his All-American career at University of Minnesota and as a former assistant coach for the Gophers following his collegiate career. A National Champion and the most-decorated wrestler in program history, Ness holds the school record for career pins with 73, and ranks third in career victories with a record of 148-15-0. He is the sixth Gopher to earn four All-America titles.

Ness ended his career with as the 2010 NCAA National Champion in the 133-pound weight class. He was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament on his way to receiving the Dan Hodge Trophy as the Nations Best Wrestler.

Ness posted a perfect record of 31-0 that season, part of 33-match win streak overall. He won 10 matches against ranked opponents. The fastest of his 19 pins came at the 40-second mark.

In his senior year, Ness claimed his second Big Ten title to cap off a conference season that saw him earn Big Ten Wrestler of the Year honors. Ness was also named to the Academic All-America and Academic All-Big Ten rosters. He earned the Minnesota athletic departments Golden Goldys Male Athlete of the Year and the team's MVP award.

Ness finished second at the NCAA Championships in 2008 and third in 2009. As a freshman in 2007, he won a Big Ten title (125 lbs) and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year as Minnesota won the team crown. His fifth-place, All-American finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships helped the Gophers capture a team National Championship.

Dylan Ness 

Co-Head Coaching Coordinator, Saint Paul Wrestling Academy

Coach Dylan Ness joins his brother Coach Jayson Ness to lead the Saint Paul Wrestling Academy.  The Ness brothers are only the second pair of brothers in NCAA wrestling history to be 4-Time All-Americans. 

Coach Dylan Ness was a 2 Time NCAA Finalist at 149-pound class in 2012 and 157-pound class in 2014 respectively.   As a Gopher Captain his senior year in 2014-2015 he was named Most Valuable Wrestler, won the FloWrestling Showstopper Award, and led the team while being recognized with the Most Falls Award.

During his first 3 years Coach Dylan Ness was a Big Ten Champion, winner of the Most Falls Award in 2011-2012, Most Exciting Wrestler Award after the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons, Big Ten Athlete of the Week twice, USA Athlete of the Week, Gopher Outstanding Wrestler of Year, Best Freshmen Wrestler and Golden Goldys Male Athlete of the Year.

Matt Mincey
Co-Head Coaching Coordinator, St Paul Wrestling Academy

Coach Mincey was an All-American for Minnesota State where he finished Third at the NCAA Division II National Championships. Mincey garnered a 28-3 record while wrestling for the Mavericks that also included First Team All-NSIC and NSIC Wrestler of the Week Honors.
Prior to joining the Mavericks, Mincey was a member of the University of Minnesota Wrestling program. As a Gopher, Mincey collected a record of 43-23, and was a three-time letterwinner.

Mincey was a three-time MSHSL State Champion while wrestling for Apple Valley High School.

Hayden Zillmer

Assistant Coaching Coordinator, St Paul Wrestling 

Coach Zillmer nicknamed "Jack Pine Savage" is the most decorated wrestler to come out of Crosby-Ironton High School and later one of the most decorated wrestlers to graduate from North Dakota State. Zillmer was a 3X Minnesota State Champion and holds the school's all-time wins record including a 43-1 record as a senior en route to his third straight Minnesota State Crown. As a high schooler he went on to win the Cadet National Triple Crown in 2007 by winning National Titles in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman and is one of only eight wrestlers to achieve this feat.

While at North Dakota State Coach Zillmer qualified for 3 NCAA Wrestling Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016 with his best finish of 6th place at 184 lbs in 2015.  In 2016 Zillmer finished 2nd in the Big 12 Wrestling Championships, Named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week and for the second time made both the Big 12 Conference Academic Wrestling team and the National Wrestling Coaches Association All Academic Team respectively.  

Coach Zillmer has still not hung up his singlet as a member of the Storm Wrestling Team at the Minnesota Regional Training Center.  Zillmer is a 2X Freestyle United States National Team member and 2X National Greco-Roman team member.  In 2019 he won the United States National Freestyle Championship and now as a Olympic Team Qualifier training for the United States Trials with the winner advancing to the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.   Plus Coach Zillmer is entering his third year as Saint Thomas Academy Assistant Wrestling Coach. 

Daniel DeShazer
Assistant Coaching Coordinator, St. Paul Wrestling Academy

Coach "Hercules" DeShazer like his father Daniel Sr. won two Kansas State High School Championships as a student athlete for Wichita Heights High School. DeShazer led his team to a Kansas State Team Championship, went undefeated his junior year and was ranked as the 7th best high school wrestler at 130 lbs by Amateur Wrestling News.  Upon graduation DeShazer wrestled his freshmen year at University of Oklahoma before transferring to University of Nebraska at Kearney.  

While at University of Nebraska at Kearney, Coach DeShazer won two D2 National Individual Championships his sophomore and senior years at 133 lbs and finished second his junior year. A  3X All American he qualified for 3 D2 NCAA Wrestling Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015.  As a senior DeShazer went 24-0 against D2 competition and finished 5th at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas.  As a junior he was recognized as a member on the Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic First Team.  

Coach DeShazer has not hung up his singlet as a member of the Storm Wrestling Team at the Minnesota Regional Training Center. In addition, DeShazer has used his Exercise Science Fitness and Wellness Degree by assisting the University of Minnesota Gophers as a Strength and Conditioning Intern Coach and active spokesperson for a Plant Based Lifestyle.  In addition, Coach DeShazer is entering his third year as Saint Thomas Academy Assistant Wrestling Coach. 


Chad Kraft
President / 4-Time All American Wrestler at the University of Minnesota

Scott Solliday
Vice President

Steve Draxler

Jon Springer

Paul Schmidt
Fundraising / Recruiting