Don Hinds was born on January 5, 1936 in Indianapolis, Indiana to James and Elizabeth Hinds. He is the fourth born son of six children.
Don’s legendary wrestling career began at Edgewood Elementary School where he received numerous honors and won the County Championship in the 8th grade in the 55 lb. weigh class. He attended Southport High School where he graduated with honors in 1954. At Southport, he received the Dr. Harry Meyer award for the senior athlete with the highest academic average and was recognized as the outstanding wrestler for Marion County, IN. He wrestled under All-American and Indiana Wrestling Coach Hall of Famer Chauncey McDaniel and was a critical member of the 1954 State Championship Team. Individually, he accomplished the highest achievement in winning the 1953 and 1954 state championship in the 95 lb. weight class.
Don’s love of wrestling continued after graduation and in 1955 he began his career a wrestling official. Over the next 53 years, Don officiated everything from local youth tournaments to the Division I NCAA National Championship and everything in between.
During his first 15 years, he officiated at all levels, including Indiana High School tournaments as well as collegiate meets. Don’s expertise was certainly in demand as evidenced by him officiating many Division I duals and tournaments, including many events in the Big Ten Conference. He was honored to officiate the Big Ten Championships from 1963 to 1970. That year, he was selected to officiate the 1970 NCAA National Championships at Northwestern University. Don was also recruited to officiate a very intense Oklahoma and Oklahoma State dual meet in 1970 due to his skillset and professionalism.
Don’s career allowed him to relocate his family from Indianapolis to Birmingham in 1970 where he continued his extensive service to our sport. Don immediately began officiating high school matches and tournaments, as well as officiating numerous SEC matches including the SEC Championship Tournament held at the University of Alabama.
In 1976, Don was inducted into the Indiana High School Wrestling Hall of Fame. He has also been honored by his alma mater and inducted in the Southport High School Hall of Fame.
In 1980, Don moved to Gadsden, Alabama where he continued to stay involved with high school wrestling and officiating. He also became involved with the Southside High School wrestling program under Coach Jimmy Blanton. He dedicated his time and helped organize the Take Down Club which provided support to the Southside Wrestling Program. Following the death of Coach Blanton, Don served as Interim Head Coach in 1998 until a permanent coach was named.
During his illustrious career, Don contributed a tremendous amount to our sport. He participated at the very highest level and was a true master of his craft. He served as an official for 53 years, was a coach for 1 year, and provided countless and immeasurable leadership and entertainment to all he encountered. He was 72 years old when he officiated his last AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament which happened to be the 51st state tournament he officiated.
Don was married to Rosalyn (Rosie) for 49 years and has 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. He is currently in a relationship with Ms. Jimmie Bailey and lives in Rainbow City, Alabama.
Lifetime Service to Wrestling
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