Longtime Coon Rapids High School cross-country coach Don Timm will be inducted into the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame Aug. 9 during a ceremony in Eastview.
Timm’s coaching career with Coon Rapids began in 1973, when he started coaching cross-country. He continued in the position through 1981, then was an assistant at the University of Minnesota in 1982. From 1983-92 he developed the Advanced Placement European History course at Coon Rapids and helped to raise his three children and continued coaching the Cardinals. He also began coaching distance for the track and field team in 1973.
Timm coached a long list of top teams and individuals throughout his career, among them including: Coon Rapids girls fifth in state meet in 1979, eighth in 2007 and seventh in 2008; Section 5AA champions in 2007 and 2008; North Suburban Conference champions in 1978 and 1979, Twin Cities Suburban Conference champion in 1996 and Northwest Suburban Conference champions in 2004 and 2008; All-State cross-country runners coached in Jodi England (1979), Amber Affeldt (1992, 1993, 1994), Heidi Lindeman (2002) and Kayla Johnson (2008); Minnesota State J.O. state cross-country champions coached Lindeman (2002) and Marissa Dahlquist (2006); and All-State track boy athletes coached in Tim Black (1975, sixth in two-mile), Dale Oie (second, 800-meter) and Blayne Dulian (state champ, 2009, 1600-meter).
“(I) have never grown tired of the feeling of watching an athlete do something better than they have ever done it before (no matter where they finish),” Timm said after the nomination. “Spending four to six years with a young athlete and watching them develop from a hesitant rookie to a confident veteran still has magic for me. Following the collegiate careers of these athletes is also a thrill. I am less able to provide the athletic example for my athletes, but do have 45 years of experience in running to pass along and having been coached by the best coach in the country (Roy Griak), I have lessons to share that still hold true even though they were taught me long ago.”
Nominations on Timm’s behalf highlighted his longheld, unwavering passion for the sport.
“I have known Don for many years,” said Dave Bauer of Park Center. “His passion for distance running in Minnesota is unmatched. His teams are always competitive and tough. He has developed a strong program in Coon Rapids that is competitive year in and year out. Either through his clap or his whistle, the Cardinals respond to him and their team on the course. The respect his team holds for him is unmatched. He deserves to be in our Cross Country Hall of Fame.”
“In the ‘70’s, I once watched Don on television as he raced, knowing he was from Minnesota,” said Neil Kruse of Centennial. “Many years later it was an honor to coach cross-country in the same section and conference that Don was coaching in. His teams were always competitive. He was all over the course supporting and encouraging his athletes during meets. He also ran with his athletes up to retirement. If Coon Rapids was at a meet, I felt his team would be contending for a top spot in the final results. The physical and mental training of his athletes was obviously top-notch. The more impressive part of his coaching was the citizenship his athletes displayed. This was a direct result of Don being a gentleman. He was a fierce competitor, yes, but a true gentleman. He recognized good performances by opposing teams, not holding back in praising them in person and/or through their coaches. In 2007, our girls nosed out Coon Rapids for the conference title. We knew it would be a battle in the section meet. One of our girls went down in the final 40 meters, crawling to the finish. We finished second. Early the next week, a card was received from Don and his team, encouraging Maggie for the upcoming state meet. Getting ready on race day, he came over and asked how she was doing. Don truly cares about the character of the athletes he has coached and keeps up on their endeavors after high school, whether they run collegiately or not. Had he not retired to care for his college coach Roy Griak in Roy’s final months, I believe Don would still be coaching today. He continues to attend cross-country and track meets, seeing how folks he has worked with are faring with their running. Don Timm is a Minnesota gem, from his own running experience to sharing his knowledge with young folks and other coaches. I believe he is worthy of induction into the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.”