Inductee Profile

Jim O’Brien

2008

Jim graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1967 as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track. In 1966 he was captain of the Ho’N undefeated champion football team at 7-0 and 7-1 overall. This celebrated team doubled the opposition in most statistical categories and had an outstanding defense that allowed an average of less than 5 points per game, including three shutouts. Jim played tackle on both sides of the ball and was a rare three year letter-winner for the Warriors. He was named to the First Team in the Ho’N, Eau Claire Leader’s All Northwest team, and the Wisconsin All-State Team. In 1967, he accepted a full scholarship from the Minnesota Gophers under Murray Warmath where he became a two-year starter and letter-winner at defensive tackle. Considered skinny by his coaches, he had to rely on leverage and technique to compete against oversized opponents. In basketball Jim had a reputation as an aggressive rebounder and defender on a team that finished 14 and 4 his senior year. Announcer Dick Kaner referred to him as 005 as that was usually his box score statistic. As a three year letter-winner in track, Jim was a member of a record-setting mile relay team and won the Ho’N conference shot put title in 1967. He helped the Warriors to conference championships in 1965, ‘66 and ‘67. Jim also played with the University of Minnesota rugby team which won the first Big Ten rugby tournament championship. He continued to play rugby several seasons for teams in Atlanta, Georgia. Jim has worked as a volunteer coach in youth football and basketball.

Jim O’Brien