Jim Harstad is the son of Gordy & Joyce (Woolery) Harstad, born in 1956 in Madison, MN (Marietta) He has Four siblings, Mary (Seurer), Mark, Joy (Landaluce), and Jill (Urdahl).
Jim started his wrestling career in Minot, ND in 7th grade with Outstanding coaches just out of college at Minot State. (Dwight Ormeson, Al Alstad & Charlie Swan) They were great technicians & motivators, they drilled us the Sugar foot stance for Offensive Wrestling from the feet. Jim’s family moved to St. Cloud before his 9th-grade season, where he played Football and Wrestled for legendary Coach Jim Kiffmeyer from 1970-1974 at St. Cloud Tech High School. In the Fall of 1973, Jim was named to the All-Metro football team as Middle Linebacker by the St. Cloud Daily Times. Jim was a Three-time finalist in District 19 and Champion in 1974 at 145 lbs. Jim placed Third in the One class State Tournament in 1974. Jim went on to St. Cloud State (Currently they are a National NCAA Div. II Wrestling power, Winning Six of the Seven National Championship Titles-Under Head Coach Steve Costanzo & Brady Wilson) to further his Education & Wrestling for the Huskies under Hall of Fame Coach John Oxton. Jim Was a Three-time NIC finalist at 167 & 158 lbs, from 1977-1979. In 1979 Jim was the Conference Champion and an NCAA Div. II All American at 158 lbs for the Huskies. Winning in the Blood Round was a proud moment for Jim, with his father and brother Mark in the crowd at the UNI-Dome. Our Husky Teams were also NIC Champions in 1976, 1977, & 1978. Jim was the Outstanding Wrestler on the 1978 Team and Captain of the 1977-78 & 1978-1979 Teams. “I am very thankful for the many great teachers, coaches, and mentors I have had over my wrestling career! The late Tom Keating of Foley was my Freestyle and Greco-Roman when I qualified for the 1974 Minnesota Culture Exchange Team to Wrestle in Sweden and Finland. My Coaches & Teammates taught me that Wrestling is a Strong Brotherhood full of Life lessons, and it has made a big difference in my life!”
After college, Jim taught Special Education for three years in St. Cloud, he then turned his full-time focus to building an Amway business with his wife Julie for 28 years, 14 years at the Diamond Rank, while teaching success and business principles to over 1 million people around the world. For the past 14 years, Jim has been the owner of Winning Big Consulting, teaching on principles of God, Country, Family, Free Enterprise!! Helping young business owners to get on the right track with their families and business.
Jim’s family are his real blessings in his life, with his beautiful wife Julie (Shekleton) a farm girl from Murdock, MN, and their five children. Ages 18-37 (Julianne and Lane, Christina and Emerson, Jimmy and Chelsea, Brianna, and Johnny. Jim and Julie married in 1982. “Julie is a great life and business partner, wife, and mommy for our five children over these past 40 years! We also have our first grandbaby (Callie) born to Christy and Emerson a few months ago! My passion over the past 40 years is to help people to build strong family units! To be the best they can be in God’s Kingdom.”
Some of Jim’s other achievements are being Inducted into the St. Cloud State University Athletic Hall of Fame for Wrestling in 2000, and the St. Cloud Tech High School Athletic Hall of Fame for being a three-sport Athlete (Football, Wrestling, and Baseball) in 2004. Jim was also named and honored with the 2017 Youth Football Coach of the Year Award by the Positive Coaching Alliance in 2017.
Jim was a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force in the Orono School District to pass a $40 million dollar referendum in 2008. Jim has served as a board member of the Orono Football and Wrestling Clubs, as well as the SCSU Wrestling Booster Club. Jim and Julie were awarded the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award by Eniva Corporation in 2010 for their Leadership and Serving others first spirit.
Jim is very Thankful for what the great sport of wrestling has instilled in him over the years to “help and guide me in my Life and Business. 1) Having a Coach/Mentors in your Life. 2) Discipline over your Mind, Body, and Soul. 3) To Work Hard and Dream Big, setting Goals to push yourself to achieve worthwhile goals & dreams 4) Getting knocked down in life and getting back up wiser and stronger than ever 5) How to Manage your time for God, Country, Family and your Business with balance. 6) uplifting others with Words of Encouragement to be in their calling and staying strong in their life. 7) Being Thankful, Joyful, and Being your best for your Teammates, Coaches, and Family!! Learning what my Parents taught me were Not old fashion, But Timeless Principles.”
Final thoughts on this great honor of The Outstanding American Award today, “I love the United States of America and the Beacon of Hope is shines around the world. (Freedom is never Free, there is always a price to pay) and I love the great sport of wrestling! It has been a great Foundation in my life. Thank you for this honor, ” Jim Harstad
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