Schmeichel honored: Longtime JHS coach named to another HOFTo no one’s surprise, retirement has been far from slow for Russ Schmeichel. The longtime Jamestown High School coach lives in Andover, Minn., with his wife of 42 years, Carol, within walking distance of their three kids and five grandchildren.
To no one’s surprise, retirement has been far from slow for Russ Schmeichel.
The longtime Jamestown High School coach lives in Andover, Minn., with his wife of 42 years, Carol, within walking distance of their three kids and five grandchildren.
“Every day is Saturday,” Schmeichel joked. “It’s a pretty good deal.”
Schmeichel, who coached track and field and cross country in Jamestown for 32 years from 1974-2006, will be in Bismarck this weekend for the state meet where he’ll be inducted into the North Dakota High School Track and Field Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
Schmeichel, who led the Blue Jays to 20 cross country state championships, already is a member of the North Dakota High School Coaches Hall of Fame and the Jamestown College Hall of Fame.
“It was news to me. It never even crossed my mind,” he said of the receiving the latest honor. “It brings back a lot of great memories in Jamestown, that’s for sure.
“More than anything else, it just goes to show that we had a lot of really good kids. When that happens, it makes the coaches look pretty good.”
So does good help, he said.
“You can’t have better assistants than I did,” he said. “Guys like Jim Stage, Mike Harris, Arnie Falk, the Conlons (Frank and Dianne). I mean, you just can’t beat them.”
The coaching itch remains four years removed from retiring, although he’s yet to scratch it.
A couple opportunities arose in recent years, but did not quite work out.
“It’s crossed my mind. Maybe I’ve been close a couple of times, but it didn’t work out and that’s OK,” he said.
It’s not like he’s lacking for things to do.
He’s a certified Minnesota Track Official and works about 20 track meets and 10 cross country meets per year.
He’s also all over the place in the winter, officiating about 30 basketball games a season.
He can also live vicariously through his daughter Jenny — one of the most decorated track athletes ever at JHS. She teaches in Blaine, Minn., and coaches track and cross country at Anoka High School.
“We stay pretty busy, but it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “If I’m out late at a game, or reffing some night, the good thing now is, I can sleep in.”
And, of course, there’s ample time and trails for biking, another of his favorite activities.
“This is a pretty good place for us,” Schmeichel said. “But we enjoy getting back up to Jamestown and reminiscing about the good old days.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com