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Jim Weinzierl to be inducted into MSHSL Hall of Fame

The Park Rapids official worked more than 3,000 basketball games during his career.

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Park Rapids' Jim Weinzierl will be inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in April 2022. Submitted photo

For more than four decades, Park Rapids’ Jim Weinzierl was a fixture in area high school and college gyms as a basketball official.

Now Weinzierl wil be a fixture in the Minnesota State High School League’s Hall of Fame.

Weinzierl is one of 12 individuals in the Class of 2022 who will be inducted into the MSHSL Hall of Fame during a banquet on April 24. Venue details and ticket information will be released at a later date.

“Obviously it’s humbling,” said Weinzierl, who was a high school basketball official for 41 years, a Division II and Division III college basketball official for 20 years, a high school volleyball official for 27 years, a high school softball official for 26 years and a high school football official for 10 years. “It’s humbling to be recognized and appreciated for your work.”

Weinzierl worked more than 3,000 college, high school varsity and high school junior varsity basketball games during his career. Of that total, 1,800 were varsity high school games, including 23 state tournament appearances and 10 championship games. The highlight of his officiating career was working his final state tournament in 2013 with sons Ryan and Scott. The Weinzierls formed the three-man crew that worked Austin’s 59-56 victory over Blake in the Class AAA quarterfinals and Minnehaha Academy’s 56-54 win over Litchfield in the Class AA title game.

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“All the games were memorable, but the state tournament games are the highlight of an official’s career. I really enjoyed being asked to work the state tournament games,” said Weinzierl, who retired as an official in 2014. “In 105 years of the state basketball tournament, that is the only time a father and sons have worked a state tournament game. I worked a lot of games with Ryan and Scott, but those two state tournament games were a highlight. That was a great way to end it.”

Weinzierl’s path to becoming a Hall of Fame official started as a stress reliever.

From 1978 to 1980, Weinzierl was the head coach of the Park Rapids boys basketball team. Weinzierl gave up that position for health reasons.

“I was a head basketball coach and I developed high blood pressure,” said Weinzierl. “I wanted to stay in the game and stay active, so I became a basketball official. I haven’t had high blood pressure since. I guess the key to having low blood pressure is to become a basketball official.”

Even though Weinzierl is no longer an official, he still is involved with the MSHSL as the Executive Secretary for Region 8A, a role he has had for the last 13 years. Through his leadership, the Region 8A academic, arts and athletics recognition program has grown and flourished. Weinzierl has also served as the MSHSL’s Northwest Minnesota Basketball Officials Coordinator and Rules Clinician for the past 26 years and plays a role in the MSHSL’s state tournament selection committee.

Joining Weinzierl in the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 are former Cretin-Derham Hall and Minnesota Twins player Joe Mauer; Minneapolis boys basketball coach Larry McKenzie; Mahtomedi gymnast Mindy Myhre; Fridley wrestling official, administrator and rules clinician Ron Ackerman; Mahtomedi gymnastics coach Debbie Driscoll; Cannon Falls fine arts teacher and coach John Fogarty; Stillwater girls and boys swimming coach Brian Luke; state swimming announcer Larry Martin; Eagan speech and debate coach Chris McDonald; MSHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee chair Dr. William Roberts; and Minneapolis Public Schools district-wide administrator John Washington. The Class of 2022 is the 24th group to be inducted, increasing the number of Hall of Fame members to 244.

“I’ve gotten to know so many great people over the years. I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Weinzierl. “We received a lot of compliments. It was always rewarding to hear people say: ‘Good, we get the Weinzierls tonight.’”

While Weinzierl misses the game, he doesn’t miss being on the road four or five nights a week in the winter. However, he doesn’t regret making the move from being a head coach to being respected as one of Minnesota’s best officials.

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“I don’t miss all the time I spent away from home and I don’t miss all the windshield time, but I do miss the camaraderie with the coaches, administrators, players and fans,” said Weinzierl. “It was rewarding. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. It was a fun run.”

Related Topics: BASKETBALLPARK RAPIDS
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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