Lars Jensen, left, pictured with San Francisco State University senior Dylan Furtado during the 2016-17 wrestling season, was named Coach of the Year numerous times. (Michael Urakami/Courtesy Joseph Danahey)

Lars Jensen, left, pictured with San Francisco State University senior Dylan Furtado during the 2016-17 wrestling season, was named Coach of the Year numerous times. (Michael Urakami/Courtesy Joseph Danahey)

SF State mourns loss of longtime wrestling coach

Lars Jensen was named conference Coach of the Year seven times, regional Coach of the year twice

Lars Jensen, who spent more than half of his life coaching wrestling at San Francisco State University, died on Dec. 8 at the age of 63.

Over his 34 years at the helm of the Gator wrestling program, Jensen oversaw the development of 122 wrestlers who qualified for National Championships, 62 All-Americans and 10 individual national champions, an illustrious list that concluded with Naveed Bagheri’s 141-pound title in the 2012-13 season. His legacy in turning SFSU into a regional power was reflected with 55 conference champions, and the program’s academic achievements were illustrated through 67 National Wrestling Coaches’ Association All-Academic Team members.

Aside from the laundry list of accomplishments by his wrestlers, Jensen was named conference Coach of the Year on seven separate occasions and was twice bestowed the honor of NCAA Division II West Region Coach of the Year. He was also the 1997 NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and earned the Bob Bobb Coaching Excellence Award at the 2013-14 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championship.

A Bay Area lifer, Jensen was born in Palo Alto on Nov. 3, 1957 and graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School, where he lettered in football, wrestling and baseball under legendary coach Ben Parks, the namesake of M-A’s field. He transferred to SF State from College of San Mateo, where he was twice named outstanding wrestler of the year.

Jensen is survived by his mother, June, his wife of 32 years, Chanda, one sister, three brothers, including his identical twin, Thor, and two children, Brenden and Lara.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private outdoor funeral service is being held in San Jose on Thursday afternoon, but SF State plans to hold a Celebration of Life sometime in the summer or fall after restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the California Wrestling Hall of Fame Scholarship Program. Memorial donations may also be given to the Lars Jensen Memorial Scholarship Fund for SF State Wrestling. Electronic donations can also be made via www.sfstategators.com.

Bay Area Newscollege athleticssan francisco newsWrestling

Just Posted

San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

Most Read