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Jim Quinn



From his first high school coaching job in 1940 to his death in 1993, Quinn was one of the best-known figures in South Dakota sports.

The Sturgis High grad was a coach, a founder of several sports programs and an administrator of others, an executive and a chronicler of sports history. At his death, a tribute to him on the sports page of the Rapid City Journal was even lengthier than his obituary elsewhere in the paper.

In 1940, while still a student at Black Hills State, he coached all sports at St. Martin's Academy, then in Sturgis. Following service during World War II, he was superintendent at Vale (1943-44), Hill City (1945-51) and Faith (1952-53), coaching at those places as well and reviving the track program at Faith.

But it was during his years as a teacher in Rapid City (1953-81) and after that he attained his reputation for promoting South Dakota sports. In 1957, he co-founded South Dakota's first baseball Little League, then co-founded and became president of both the Colt and Pony leagues in Rapid City. In the early 1980s, he was co-founder and president of the first midget football league. In the 1960s, he was chairman of the state's American Legion Athletic Commission and (with others) strengthened the Rapid City Post 22 baseball program to become the dominant program in the state. In the 1950s, he helped bring Basin League baseball to Rapid City. For many years he served as business manager of the Rapid City Chiefs as well as secretary-treasurer and statistician of the Basin League.

In 1961, he co-founded and was later president of the Rushmore Coaches Club. He became the first president of the Yellow Jacket Foundation, formed to support BHSU athletics. He is a member of the Rapid City Sports and South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association halls of fame. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

To anyone in South Dakota, Quinn was the ultimate "sports encyclopedia," and in later years, right up to his death, he printed programs for major regional and state championships in several sports through his Quality Program Service.
























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