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Best Husker Wrestlers Ever: An Intro and Honorable Mentions

With a storied history, Nebraska has a loaded Top-10 best wrestlers ever

Nebraska’s 2019-20 coaching staff (sitting, from left) Tyler Berger, Robert Kokesh and head coach Mark Manning along with Bryan Snyder (standing) consists of some of Nebraska’s best all-time wrestlers.
Jon Johnston / Corn Nation

The Nebraska wrestling program has a long storied history that spans 101 seasons since the 1910-11 season. It’s amassed an astounding 112 All-Americans with 11 individual NCAA Champions out of 24 NCAA finalists. Five of Nebraska’s national champs have been crowned in the last 18 years. As a team, Nebraska has secured seven team conference titles with 63 individual conference champs.

The Huskers’ success doesn’t end at the collegiate level though, as 11 former Huskers have went on to compete at the Olympics while bringing home six medals, two of those medals being gold. At the World Championships, Nebraska has amassed 21 medals with six of those medals gold.

Since head coach Mark Manning took over in the 2000-01 season, Nebraska has produced 53 All-Americans, including four national champion wrestlers and 18 individual conference champions. As a team, Nebraska has finished in the Top 10 at the NCAA tournament 10 times under Manning’s tutelage.

With all that History, Nebraska obviously has a long list of accomplished wrestlers that have come and gone. Over the next few weeks, I will attempt the unenviable task of picking out and counting down the Top 10 wrestlers to ever don a Nebraska singlet.

The list wasn’t easy to compile, and there are a lot of accomplished and worthy wrestlers that missed the cut, so before I begin a Top-10 countdown, I’ll highlight a trio of Huskers that finished outside of the list.

Honorable Mentions

Mike Nissen - 1960-63

Mike Nissen could be considered the man that put Nebraska on the map in the sport of wrestling. Nissen won Nebraska’s first individual national championship in 1963 in the 123-pound weight class with a 19-1 record on the season. The year prior, Nissen finished 3rd at the NCAA tournament with a 17-2 record on the year. Nissen finished his career with a 48-5 record and a perfect 36-0 career dual record. He’s the only wrestler ever for Nebraska to go undefeated in duals. His .906 win percentage is tied for second all-time at NU.

Jim Scherr - 1980-84

A two-time All-American, Jim Scherr became Nebraska’s second individual NCAA champion in 1984 when he defeated Iowa’s Duane Goldman at the 177-pound weight class. Scherr, who competed for Nebraska alongside brother Bill Scherr, also won the 1984 conference championship. A member of the Husker 100-win club, Jim Scherr finished his career with a 109-25-4 record.

After graduating from Nebraska, Jim Scherr went on to have a successful international career on the mat. He was a World Cup champion in 1986 and 1989 while also competing in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea where he finished in fifth place at 198 pounds. Scherr was a silver medalist at the World Championships in 1987 and 1989. He also won the U.S. Nationals championship in 1986, 1987 and 1989.

Here is Jim Scherr defeating Russia’s Makharbek Khadartsev to win the 1989 World Cup.

Corey Olson - 1989-93

Another member of the Husker 100-win club, Olson was a two-time NCAA finalist and a three-time All-American. He was Nebraska’s second ever freshman to earn All-American status and could have been its first four-time All-American if not for a knee injury during his sophomore season. Olson was also a three-time conference runner-up. A specialist at putting his opponents on their backs, Olson sits in second place on Nebraska’s all-time pin list with 63 wins by pinfall. He finished his career with an impressive 115-28 career record.