Mayville State's own Jim Bisenius, 1959 graduate, was the high school baseball coach of Jack Del Rio, head coach of the National Football League Oakland Raiders. Jim, a native of Walhalla, N.D., 1988 Mayville State Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, and 2013 Mayville State Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame inductee, taught and coached at Hayward High School in Hayward, Calif. fom 1965 to 1992.
Thirty-four of Jim’s baseball players signed professional contracts. Six played in the major leagues. One of those players, Mike Young, played with the Baltimore Orioles and is one of a handful of players to hit two or more homeruns in extra innings. Don Wakamatsu was manager of the Seattle Mariners and is currently the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals. Another of Jim’s players, Jon Miller, radio/TV announcer for the San Francisco Giants baseball team, is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown, N.Y.)
What’s really cool about all of this is that these guys truly appreciate Coach Bisenius for the significant impact he made in their lives. This appreciation was highlighted in January at third annual Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards dinner.
Through the Game Changer Awards, Bay Area (Calif.) professional athletes recognize the coaches who have had a profound effect on their lives. The awards celebrate the transformative power of coaching by honoring those who have empowered and inspired athletes at every level to be their best selves. The mission of the Coaching Corps is to provide youth from under-resourced communities access to trained coaches and the benefits of sports.
At the awards program, held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Jan. 27, Jack Del Rio was one of five individuals involved in professional athletics who was able to recognize the coaches who have made a difference in his life. Del Rio chose to recognize Jim Bisenius, as well as Charley Kendall and Jeff Rankin, who were his basketball and football coaches at Hayward High School.
Congratulations, Jim Bisenius! You make us proud!