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Eric Peterson, Published July 16 2009

MSUM's Keenan Spiess resigns as head wrestling coach

Minnesota State Moorhead head wrestling coach Keenan Spiess has resigned after six seasons.

“I just didn’t want to coach the rest of my life,” Spiess said. “I wanted to do more than one thing. I didn’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life.”

MSUM athletic director Doug Peters said he wants to fill the position as soon as possible.

“We didn’t want him to go, but I wanted him to be happy at the same time,” MSUM athletic director Doug Peters said. “When he told me, he caught me off guard.”

Peters added the Spiess resignation had nothing to do with MSUM being reprimanded and fined $1,000 by the NCAA in March.

That fine stemmed from the conduct of an MSUM wrestler during the national championships in Houston. The wrestler was at the tournament as a spectator and not with the school’s travel party.

“That’s the little bit of bad to do with coaching,” Spiess said.

Spiess said impending budget cuts at the school also didn’t factor in his decision.

The Dragons averaged more than 10 dual wins per season under Spiess.

Spiess coached a national champion (Nate Baker at 165 pounds in 2006). MSUM had 68-43 overall dual record in Spiess’ six seasons, including two Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference titles.

“I worked my tail off and I enjoyed everything I got from it,” Spiess said.

Spiess said he plans to work in house restoration and building and also at a youth development center.

“I’ve been thinking about it for about a year,” Spiess said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com