Emmerich, J at.jpg
Induction Category & YearSports 1979
Home TownNew Ulm, MN
New Ulm, MN

   James Emmerich
Champion of Excellence

 Jim Emmerich was co-captain of the 1939 South Dakota State University (SDSU) Football team that won the North Central Conference title. He was selected to the All-Conference and Williamson Little All-American teams as a guard. Jim earned three football letters (1937, 1938, 1939) and one track letter (1940) as a weight man, shot, discus and javelin.

In 1940 Emmerich joined the SDSU coaching staff as freshman football and basketball coach. After two years, his coaching duties were interrupted by service in the U.S. Army. From 1942-44 he was assigned by the U.S. Army to serve as ROTC instructor, track coach, assistant football coach and trainer at Shattuck School, Faribault, MN. From 1944-46 he was assigned as a physical recondition instructor at the Pasadena Army Service Forces Hospital, Pasadena, CA. <p>Upon discharge from the Army in 1946, Emmerich returned to SDSU as head track coach and head trainer. His coaching accomplishments during his 15-year coaching career were truly amazing. The North Central Conference track and field meet was held 13 times during his 15-year reign as coach. Ten times his teams won conference titles. The other three years they finished second. During Emmerich's career at SDSU, he acted as head trainer for all sports from 1946 – 1956 and for track and field from 1956 – 1960. In 1947 he started the first cross-country team at SDSU. During his tenure, Emmerich's cross-country team never lost a North Central Conference team title. <p>Jim Emmerich’s 1953 track and field team captured the NAIA title. This was the first National Championship won in any sport by a SDSU team. In 1959 his cross-country team won the NCAA College Division cross-country Championship, and in 1956 won the NAIA crown. <p>In 1956 Emmerich was selected by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as one of eight trainers to accompany the U.S. Olympic team to Melbourne, Australia. Afterwards, in 1959, he served as head trainer for the Pan-American Games in Chicago, IL. He then went on in 1963 to serve as one of two trainers of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Team, which competed in Russia, Poland, West Germany and England. The next year, 1964, Emmerich was again selected by the USOC, but this time as head trainer for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Afterwards, in 1965 and 1967 Emmerich went to the Little Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, as one of two trainers who traveled with the U.S. Olympic Medical Survey team whose mission was to check the affects of altitude on physical performance. <p>Beginning in 1969 and continuing until his departure due to health reasons, Jim Emmerich was the Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Intramural Sports for Special Services at the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. <p>In addition to Emmerich’s career in coaching and training, he also was sent by the U.S. State Department in the American Specialist Program (an education and cultural program) to coach in Morocco, Sweden, Finland and Norway in 1961. <p>Jim Emmerich was awarded the South Dakota Coach of the Year in 1954; the President’s Council for Physical Fitness Leadership Award and the North Central Intercollegiate Athletic conference Meritorious Service Award. He is a member of the Helms Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame and the SDSU Athletic Hall of Fame. <p>Emmerich was the first Athletic Trainer at SDSU and Acting head of he HPER & Athletics at SDSU from 1941-1947. <p>

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