Jim Jackson, who coached for 17 seasons at Apple Valley and led the Eaglies to 14 state championships and a national title in 2011, is taking over as head coach at Shakopee.
The Sabers' activities office announced the news on Tuesday in a statement on the school's website.
“I am thankful for the opportunity provided to me and look forward to get back in the wrestling room with the athletes in Shakopee,” Jackson said in the statement.
Apple Valley compiled a 618-27-3 record under Jackson before he stepped down in 2012. At the time he said he wanted to spend more time with his family but he got back into wrestling last season at Eden Prairie in an unpaid "associate head coach'' position.
“His record, experience and background speak for itself,” Shakopee activities director John Janke said in the statement.
The statement also quoted Wayde Johnson, a wrestling parent on the interview committee, who said, “You would be hard pressed to find a more qualified candidate, and I look forward to the positive impact Mr. Jackson will make on an already strong program. Other programs had better prepare themselves to meet a Shakopee squad that will be ready to compete.”
Jackson’s success has been recognized across the country. He has served as the featured speaker at coaches’ clinics in 10 states, according to the Shakopee statement.
“His experience and notoriety will be advantageous moving forward to help provide new opportunities for our program and student athletes,” Janke said.
Jackson replaces Mark Neu, who earlier this year decided to step away from the position but stay involved in the program. Neu guided the Sabers the past 13 seasons. They finished second to Prior Lake in the Class 3A, Section 2 tournament in each of the past five years.
Shakopee made its only team state tournament appearance under Neu in 2004.