2007 Jim Gruenwald  Greendale.jpgJim Gruenwald was born to Diane Heise and Gary Gruenwald in 1970. He competed for Bob Carlson at Greendale High School from 1984 to 1988. In his four trips to the Wisconsin Class A State Championships, he won a state title for Greendale in 1987 and was runner-up in 1986 and 1988. At the encouragement of his mother, Jim attended and wrestled at Maranatha Baptist Bible college. His college coach and Christian mentor, 1972 Olympic Champion Ben Peterson, coached him to three National Christian College Athletic Association titles in 1989, 1991, and 1992. Jim was runner-up in 1990 and was voted MVP in the 1989 and 1991.

Jim's Greco-Roman career under Keith Sweat started in 1984. He was a 1986 Cadet Greco-Roman National Champion. In his four trips to the Junior Greco-Roman National Championships, Keith and the Wisconsin Greco-Roman coaching staff coached Jim to a 7th (1986), 3rd (1987), and 2nd (1988-losing for the second time that year to fellow Wisconsonite Dennis Hall, which started a notable 15 year rivalry) place finish. Jim's Greco career went on hold when he attended Maranatha Baptist Bible College between 1988 and 1993. Then in 1993, Jim called his mother and let her know he was retiring from wrestling and would pursue a teaching career. Jim's mother, Diane, counseled Jim to keep wrestling and to pursue instead some goals he had set in high school with regard to the Olympics. With his mother's counsel and the advice of Mike Houck, 1985 Greco-Roman World Champion and the then USAW Greco National Teams coach, Jim started to compete in some of the National Greco Tournaments and after a third place finish in the 1993 University National Championships and a United States Olympic Festival Championship, he was accepted into the newly started Greco-Roman Resident program at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

In Jim's twelve years of training in Colorado Springs, the US Greco coaching staff including but not limited to Mike Houck, Steve Fraser, Anatoly Petrosyan, Momir Petkovic, Dan Chandler, and Andy Seras coached Jim to: two Olympics (2000 and 2004), three World Championships(2001-2003), a 2002 World Cup Championship, 1998 and 2003 PanAm Championships Championship, 30 medals in various international tournaments including, two National Championships, and a 2003 Greco-Roman Athlete of the Year award.

During Jim's time in Colorado Springs he taught Algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, physics, and Bible at Hilltop Baptist High School. In 2005, USA Wrestling approached Jim with a coaching opportunity in Marquette, MI at the United States Olympic Education Center. After months of prayer seeking the advice of the wise men and women that God has place in his life, Jim visited the program and accepted the position in August of 2005. The 2 + years at the United States Olympic Education Center and the 19 years working for Ben and John Peterson's Camp of Champs have provided Jim the opportunity to give back to the community of wrestling that gave so much to him.

He and his lovely and ever-supportive wife Rachel, who plays the violin for the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, have four beautiful children: Adin (6), Arwyn (4), Ava (2), and Autumn (2 months)