Jim Zalesky was head coach of the University of Iowa wrestling team for nine seasons (1998-2006). In nine years, he compiled a 127-34 record and coached 10 NCAA Champions, 20 Big Ten Champions and 45 all-Americans. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2004, 1999 W.I.N. National Coach of the Year, and National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1999.
Under Zalesky, won three Big Ten and three NCAA titles. Iowa's recruiting classes consistently rank high in national wrestling publications, with the 2000-01 class ranked first by Amateur Wrestling News and second by Intermat. A three-time national champion at Iowa, Zalesky was assistant coach and head recruiter under Dan Gable for seven seasons. He was named N.W.C.A. Assistant Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1997.
Zalesky was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004, the University of Iowa Letterman's Club Hall of Fame and the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Iowa wrestling Hall of Fame in 1994.
Zalesky served as an assistant coach for three seasons at Minnesota before returning to Iowa. In 1989, the Gophers finished second to Iowa at the Big Ten Championships and seventh at the NCAA Championships. Zalesky was a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1985 and 1986.
As a wrestler, Zalesky enjoyed one of the most distinguished careers in Hawkeye annals. A four-time all-American (1981-84), he won national titles his last three years at 158 pounds. He was undefeated as a junior and senior, and concluded his career with an 89 match winning streak. He was named Outstanding Wrestler at the 1984 NCAA Meet, and Amateur Wrestling News named him the Wrestler of the Decade for the 1980's.
Zalesky narrowly missed qualifying for a spot on the 1988 Olympic squad, finishing second (163 pounds) at the U.S. National competition. He is a member of the United States Coaches Association.
Jim earned his B.G.S. degree from Iowa in 1984. He and his wife, Teri, have four children, Nicolette, Jaclyn, Zackery and Lucas.
Zalesky's Coaching Record