Jim Carrington honored with MWCA Publicity Award

By Nick Fornicoia

For 52 years Jim Carrington of The Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper has been covering our great sport of wrestling. He is being honored for his contributions to the sport of wrestling by the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association with the 2011 Publicity Award.

“Jim has no peer when it comes to covering the sport as long as he has. This guy is simply the best and his photographs are the best. At the age of 82, he’s as sharp as a tack,” said Luther College assistant coach and fellow sports writer Spencer Yohe.

Yohe also noted, “Jim Carrington has filled more scrapbooks for graduation than any other sports writer in the State of Minnesota. Jim’s work week is 70 hours per week yet today, and his objectivity and coverage are second to none, as he covers elementary to high school to college wrestling.”

Longtime Bemidji teacher, coach, and athlete Howard Schultz has many glowing comments about Jim.  “Mr. Carrington’s knowledge of wrestling and his knowledge of every Bemidji wrestler regardless of age or grade has enhanced his writing and the sport itself.”

“Wrestlers come and graduate, parents come and go, coaches come and go; but there is one constant: Jim Carrington still here supporting wrestling,” said John Grygelko, former coach of Augsburg College and Robbinsdale High School.

In addition to writing about wrestling for the Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper for the past 52 years, Jim wrote for The Guillotine, Minnesota’s wrestling newspaper, for many years.  His column in The Guillotine was called “Mat Chatter of The North” and highlighted wrestlers from all over northern Minnesota.

Jim was in attendance at the first ever Bemidji wrestling home debut in 1955 and remarkably has not missed a home dual or tournament since. He has amassed a remarkable 56 years of attending and later announcing the Lumberjacks home matches.

In addition to his writing duties, Jim has been the public address announcer at all Bemidji wrestling matches and tournaments for 50 years!  All the wrestlers love Jim and his work writing and announcing.

Spencer Yohe’s statements show the wrestlers admiration for him. “Jim probably gets more graduation announcements and invitations than any other sports writer in the state of Minnesota.”

“Jim is as humble a person as you would ever want to meet, and his love for kids and getting athletes recognition is unmatched in our society.”

Bemidji head wrestling coach Rance Bahr nominated Jim for this award and said, “Mr. Jim Carrington would be the first to say he doesn’t deserve it.  But that quality of humbleness and his never-ending promotion of the sport of wrestling are exactly the reasons why Jim Carrington deserves to be the MWCA 2011 Publicity Award winner!”

Congratulations Jim Carrington.

  • Born 11-14-28 in St. Petersburg Florida
  • Graduated Washington & Lee University, Lexington VA 1950 with a major in English and specialty in journalism
  • First radio experience as sports anchor for college radio WREL
  • Broadcast first game between W & L and Duke
  • Entered U.S. Army 1950 and served two years as cryptographer
  • Discharged in 1952
  • Enrolled in Cambridge school of Broadcasting, NYC graduating in 1953
  • Began radio career at WLEU, Erie PA
  • Joined KBUN, Bemidji in 1954 as news and sports director, disc jockey and staff announcer
  • Attended first Bemidji High wrestling match in 1955
  • Has attended EVERY home wrestling match over the next 56 years
  • 1956 began as public address announcer and continued over the last 55 years
  • Joined Pioneer in 1959 as news reporter and photographer
  • Began covering local sports on side, quickly advancing post into 2nd job
  • Created eight weekly columns, including “Mat Chatter”
  • Elected to Bemidji High Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1998
  • Elected to BHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002
  • 2011 MWCA Publicity Award Winner