Tony Nelson is currently serving as an administrative assistant for the University of Minnesota wrestling team. He joins the staff after completing one of the greatest careers in Gopher wrestling history, one during which he compiled a record of 131-16 at heavyweight. His 131 wins are ninth-best in program history.
Nelson earned four All-American recognitions during his Gopher career, beginning in 2010-11 when he finished second at the Big Ten Championships and seventh on the NCAA stage. That season, he shared the team's Most Outstanding Freshman honor with Kevin Steinhaus.
The following season, Nelson captured the Big Ten Championship en route to a National Championship, defeating the reigning national champ to claim the title. Nelson was named the team's Most Outstanding Wrestler and the U's Best Male Athlete at the school's 2012 Golden Goldy's awards ceremony.
Amazingly, Nelson improved upon that 32-2 season the following year, going 33-1 as a junior and repeating as both the Big Ten and NCAA National Champion. That season, Nelson went 16-1 against ranked opponents and defeated three wrestlers ranked in the top 10 during his NCAA tournament run.
Nelson carried a 17 match winning streak into 2013-14, one which he extended to 36 before dropping a match in January. By season's end, Nelson became a three-time Big Ten champion at heavyweight and returned to the finals of the NCAA Championships but ultimately placed as the runner-up in that competition.
After four seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at Minnesota, his alma mater, Jayson Ness moved into an administrative assistant role for 2015-16 as he attempted to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
Ness has a wealth of on-the-mat experience from his All-American career at Minnesota. 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 nation's 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 department's Golden Goldy's 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 joined the University of Minnesota wrestling staff as an administrative assistant in 2015 after wrapping up one of the most electrifying careers in Gopher wrestling history.
Ness was a four-year starter at Minnesota, bursting onto the scene as a redshirt freshman by winning the Big Ten title and finishing as the national runner-up at 149 pounds. Ness wrestled two seasons at 149 before bumping up to 157 as a junior, a season during which he again reached the finals at the NCAA Championships.
Ness finished his Gopher career as one of just 10 four-time All-Americans in program history, while also carrying with him two trips to the NCAA finals and a Big Ten title.
Ness’ 37 career pins are tied for the ninth-most in program history. He posted a dozen pins both his junior and senior season, a mark with is among the 25 best ever at Minnesota. His 26-match winning streak to begin his senior season is tied for the 16th-longest ever recorded by a Gopher.