Jennings to receive Bob Siddens High School Excellence Award

By Kristi Nixon

WATERLOO — Osage head wrestling coach Brent Jennings will be one of several entering the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa Class of 2024, announced recently.

Featuring 22 individual state championships, 13 NCAA All-Americans, two NCAA champions, five team state championships and one of the top lifetime supporters of wrestling in the Cedar Valley, the Class of 2024 will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum’s Hall of Fame on June 21.

“Very humbled to be recognized at this level,” Jennings said. “To be mentioned in the same sentence as coach Siddens is remarkable. He was a great man and coach. I got the opportunity to talk with him a few times early in my coaching career and he was always gracious to visit and give of his time.”

Among the honorees are Lee Fullhart, Steve Hamilton, Perry Hummel, Tony Ramos, and the 2022-23 Waverly-Shell Rock High School girls wrestling team will be inducted while the Light family will be presented with the Bowlsby Family Legacy Award. Jennings will receive the Bob Siddens High School Coaching Excellence Award and Shawn Kelly Sr. will be presented with the Russ Smith Community Impact Award.

The Bob Siddens High School Excellence Award is presented to a current Iowa high school wrestling coach who exemplifies the high standards that Siddens set during his coaching career at Waterloo West.

Siddens was inducted into the GBHOF and was the inaugural recipient of the coaching award in 2012.

Jennings was a three-time state qualifier, including a runner-up finish at 126 pounds as a senior, with a career record of 90-13 for Clarinda High School. He has been a wrestling coach for 32 years, including the last 28 as the head coach of Osage High School.

Beginning his career at Osage in 1996, Jennings has 550 dual wins, which ranks fourth overall in Iowa history. He has led the Green Devils to three state dual titles and 11 state dual appearances. Osage won the traditional titles in 2020 and 2023 while finishing second in 2021 and 2022. The team scored the third-most points in Class 2A history with 175.5 points in 2023 while winning both the state dual title and the traditional meet for the school for first time in the same year.

Jennings has coached his teams to 21 conference titles with 135 state qualifiers, 15 state champions and 82 placewinners.

“I am very lucky to have been given the job as head coach in Osage 28 years ago, a community that reveres wrestling as much as I do,” Jennings said. “I would like to thank all those wrestlers who put in the time and allowed me to be their coach the last 28 years and to the great wrestling town of Osage.

Note: Due to a mix-up, a version without comment from coach Jennings ran in the print edition.

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