Kokesh returns to his HS alma mater as head coach

Robert Kokesh after winning in the NCAA consolation semifinals in 2015 (Photo/Tony Rotundo,

Robert Kokesh, three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Nebraska, has been named head wrestling coach at South Dakota's Wagner High School, his prep alma mater, the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic reported Wednesday.

Kokesh's hiring was approved by the Wagner School Board this week. He replaces Brad Lhotak.

The former Cornhusker and Red Raider mat star posted this message on Facebook:

"Proud to say I am the new head wrestling coach of the Wagner Red Raiders!!!"

While at Wagner High, Kokesh was a star on the football field and on the wrestling mat. He was a three-time South Dakota Class B state champion (2008-10) who helped lead the Red Raiders to team state titles each year. Kokesh compiled an impressive individual 216-24 prep record. In addition, Kokesh was the National High School Coaches Association Sophomore Nationals champion before he claimed a pair of runner-up finishes at Junior Nationals in 2009 and 2010.

At Nebraska, Kokesh was a four-time NCAA qualifier, a three-time All-American, and twice a Big Ten conference champ (2014-15). The South Dakota native ranks second in Husker history with 144 victories, 13 behind Tolly Thompson (1993-1997). In addition, Kokesh was named Nebraska's most outstanding wrestler in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

After graduating from Nebraska with a degree in agronomy in August 2015, Kokesh served as a volunteer administrative assistant for the Husker wrestling program.


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