Jim Williams

Jim Williams has been involved in the sport of wrestling in Minnesota for over 50 years. He graduated from Clarkfield High School in 1974. He was a two time District 11 and Region 3 champion. Under the coaching of Jim Phillips and Merv Hanson, Jim's Clarkfield Cardinal wrestling team were regional runner-ups in 1973 and Champions in 1974, dethroning the Canby Lancers long string of championships. Jim entered the state tournament twice but did not place. His high school record was 78-12-3. Jim attended college at Southwest State University (SMSU) where he wrestled and played football for Mike Sterner. Unfortunately, his college wrestling career ended sooner than expected with injuries his freshman and sophomore seasons. Jim credits his passion and success within the sport to mentors (Jim Phillips, Merv Hanson, and Mike Sterner), assistant coaches (Gary Wolf, Todd Burlinghame, and Todd Johnson), teammates, and officials he's worked with over the years (especially Jerry Reker, Ron Ackerman, Tim Schiels, Ed Homan, Brian Kelvington, and many more). Jim has devoted the majority of his life as an educator, coach, and official. Jim taught elementary school in Clarkfield, primarily 2nd through 6th grade. He was the head coach of the Clarkfield Cardinal wrestling team from 1984 to 1988, achieving district 11 runner-ups twice. He had numerous state entrants, with at least 4 place winner (including 1 champion and 1 runnerup). From 1994 to 2005, Jim coached junior high wrestling for YME while his sons wrestled. Both of his sons were two-time state entrants, each of them reaching the state finals. Jim left the coaching profession but continued his involvement in wrestling through officiating. His 40+ year officiating career began in 1975 and continues today. Jim officiates high school, NCAA, NJCAA, and NAIA events. He has officiated the MSHSL tournament for 23 years, where they have leveraged his experience and expertise to assess the performance of his peers during the tournament. He was recognized as one of the top NCAA assistant officials in the Big 10. He also volunteered his time by training new officials at clinics. He is well-known as one of the top officials within Minnesota as well. Jim retired from officiating after the 2020 season. In 2018, Jim was inducted into the MWCA Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife of over 40 years, Pam, have also kept busy with 4 successful children: Sara, Mike, Laura, and Matt. As educators, they've enjoyed spending their summers at the cabin with their 11 grandchildren. Congratulations to Jim Williams on his well deserved 2021 induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Minnesota Chapter.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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