Hall of Fame – Jim Smajesse (1996)

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Jim Smajesse

Peoria High School
Inducted 1996

Jim received his BS and MS degrees from Bradley University . He began his professional career as Director of Physical Education and Health for the Diocese of Springfield. He supervised the curricular and extra-curricular programs for 60 elementary schools and 12 high schools. Jim spent ten years at the collegiate level where he was the head boys baseball and basketball coach at Loras College. During his tenure, his teams received two NCAA Baseball invitations and two NAIA Baseball playoffs. He returned it Peoria in 1975 and be came the district director of athletics in Peoria for 15 middle and 4 high schools. He served in this position until his retirement in 1991. Through out the state of Illinois, Jim is known for his service in the IADA. Jim is credited with promoting total state involvement on the executive board. He served many years as a district representative, State Conference Master of Ceremonies, Registration Chairman, Hospitality Chairman, Member of Election Commission, and Speaker at the New Athletic Directors Workshop. Jim also has run the State Cross Country Meet for the IHSA for the past 26 years. Mr. William Robertson, former principal at Peoria High School had to say this about Jim, “He is a dedicated educator and his loyalty to the promotion of the foundations of sportsmanship has enabled Peoria, and the surround schools, to maintain the highest level of competition. Jim is considered the “Dean of Athletic Directors” in Central Illinois.