John Mesenbrink

Over 20 years of experience coaching the best of the best

Former high school coach and core influence on both Ben and Max’s careers, Coach John Mesenbrink possesses not only the ability to coach the best of the best with his 20 years of experience, but has also had significant and notable understanding of the sport as both a collegiate athlete and freestyle wrestler himself.

john mesenbrink wrestling coach wisconsin
john mesenbrink wrestling coach wisconsin

John Mesenbrink was an Academic All-American in ’88 and ’89

In addition to gaining leadership abilities as team captain at both St. Louis Community College and Drake University, Mesenbrink was a NJCAA National Qualifier in both 1988 and 1989, as well as an NCAA Division I National Qualifier in 1991, and alternate in 1992. Simultaneously, he was an Academic All-American in ’88 and ’89, and became a member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic All-American Team in 1992.

A Wrestling Head Coach for 19 years in Wisconsin and Iowa

Mesenbrink’s freestyle experience proves to be just as impressive. This aspect of his career began as a member of the U.S. Junior College National Team (Yugoslavia & Austria) in 1989, and flourished from there. While placing 3rd (‘02 ), 4th (‘97 ), and 5th (‘96 ), in the Northern Plains Senior Regional’s, Mesenbrink also competed in the U.S. Senior National Freestyle Championships in 1994, 1996, 1997, and 2002. Additionally, he became the U.S. Veterans Freestyle National Champion in 2004. Mesenbrink’s eclectic combination of distinct and rare experience, knowledge, leadership, and skill allowed for the development of a coaching style that both Ben and Max excelled in and expanded upon for the AWA.

John Mesenbrink spent a total of 19 years as a high school head coach in Wisconsin and Iowa. During that time, he influenced and inspired eight NCAA Division I competitors, three NCAA Division II competitors, seven NCAA Division III competitors, and two NJCCA competitors. Additionally, he had 87 state qualifiers, 44 state place winners, 8 runners-up, and 12 champions, 3 of who were All-Americans, and one, a runner up within Senior Folkstyle Nationals. Mesenbrink lead 8 teams to Conference Championships, and had Wisconsin State Team qualifiers in ’97, ’04 – ’08 and ’11. Three of those years his teams were semi-finalists (’04, ’06, ’08) and in 2005 and 2011, they were State Runner-up.

awa wrestling john mesenbrink
awa wrestling john mesenbrink

Besides his folkstyle experience, Mesenbrink’s freestyle instruction has taken him across the country in the past decade, coaching at the U.S. Olympic Team Training Camp in both Colorado Springs, CO (’08) and Phoenix, AZ (’08), in addition to attending the World Team Trials, and the United States Olympic Team Trials. Locally, John Mesenbrink has been a Wisconsin Regional Training Center Coach (2001-2006), a Wisconsin Junior National Team Coach (‘99 – ‘07, ’09 – ‘11), and a Wisconsin Junior National Duals Team Coach (’00 – ‘07). Furthermore, he has coached 11 Junior National All-Americans, and one Junior National Champion in freestyle.

Mesenbrink’s expansive understanding of multiple styles of wrestling proves to be the perfect balance for teaching the AWA’s philosophy of “total wrestling”, while his experience gives him unwavering knowledge to combat an infinite number of trials and tribulations that developing wrestlers face.

The Mesenbrink File

John Mesenbrink, AWA Wisconsin Coach
National Coaches Education Program: Gold Level Certification (USA Wrestling) April, 2006Master of Science Degree in Exercise Science & Health Promotion, emphasis in Sports Psychology
Master of Science Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, emphasis in Technology Enhanced InstructionNational Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Central Sectional Coach of the Year (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan & Wisconsin) 2010-2011
National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Wisconsin State Coach of the Year 2010-2011National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Wisconsin State Coach of the Year 2010-2011
Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association State Coach of the Year 2011Wisconsin District 6 Coach of the Year 2004, 2008, 2011
Wisconsin District 7 Coach of the Year 1997Journal Sentinel’s Milwaukee-area Coach of the Year 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011
Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association District Representative 2003National Coaches Education Program Bronze Clinic Instructor 2004, 2005

Quote BlockCoach Mesenbrink is an outstanding coach. He knows how to coach all types of wrestlers and is terrific at breaking down techniques. His passion sets him apart and you can feel his motivation when you step on the mat every day.”

Josh Antonneau
WI State Placewinner & D2 Athlete at St. Cloud State University Minnesota