USA Wrestling Wrestler for Life St...

Wrestler for Life Story of the Week: Catching up with Jim Gale - From wrestling to sustainable farming

By Wrestler for Life/USA Wrestling | Oct. 02, 2020, 3:05 p.m. (ET)

Photo of Jim Gale teaching students about sustainable farming. All photos courtesy of Issy and Jim Gale.

USA Wrestling’s “Wrestler for Life” program has started accepting submissions for “The Story of the Week”. It can be about anything wrestling related, whether it’s a particular wrestling match you’ll never forget, or a life lesson that the sport taught you. If your story is chosen, it will be featured on, and winners will receive a USA Wrestling t-shirt.

Send your submissions to:

This week's submission is by Chad Otterness. Chad's piece is on DII NCAA champion Jim Gale.

Jim is a 1988 Totino-Grace High School and 1994 Mankato State University graduate. Jim has accumulated an impressive wrestling background. He was a Minnesota state freestyle and Greco-Roman champion, a two-time place winner at the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Championships and a four-time All-American at Mankato State University, earning a National Championship in 1992.

Photo of Gale's DII Wrestling Hall of Fame plaque. 

Jim's father Pat Gale placed third in state at Roseville High School and got him started. His mother Issy Gale became very involved. Issy Gale, Todd Nelson and Tony Nelson founded the Spartan Wrestling Club. Other coaches/contributors who mentored Jim were Mitch Godbout, Kay Lacher, Jerry Schmitz and Totino Grace High School coach Tom Emond. He also found great help during freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling under the tutelage of Jim Martinez and Dan Chandler. In college, Dr. Gary Rushing coached him to a national title! In 2004 Jim was Inducted into the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame!

Jim Gale has been busy since he graduated from Mankato State University! After spending 4 years in Hawaii, Jim moved back to MN and founded a mortgage company closing 1.3 billion in sales in 4 years. Jim has traveled to Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Pakistan and Thailand. He also lived on the ocean for a year. After 12 years in Costa Rica, he moved to Orlando, Florida with his wife Andrea and two daughters. He has been investing his time promoting sustainable farming practices called Permaculture across the globe. His vision is Food Forests Everywhere! His company helps people grow food instead of lawns using sustainable, regenerative practices aka Permaculture.

Photo of Gale's sustainable farming efforts in Costa Rica.

Check out Jim’s website at