Hall of Famer
Jack Walsh is honored by Pacelli
AUSTIN – Former Jackson High School and Jackson County Central teacher and coach Jack Walsh was recently inducted into the Austin Pacelli Hall of Fame.
A 1965 Pacelli graduate, Walsh was a three-year letterman in football for the Shamrocks. He also participated in track and field and was involved in amateur hockey.
Jack’s wife, Leslie, spoke at the induction ceremony, as shared on social media by Jack’s brother Tom, and another former JHS and JCC teacher and coach, Tim McConnell:
Jack earned a four-year scholarship to play football at the University of Minnesota and was a member of the 1967 Big Ten championship team.
Walsh earned his teaching degree in Physical Education and then began a long tenure as a teacher and coach in Jackson. He coached football for 36 years and track and field for 40 years.
Walsh went back to school to earn his Master’s Degree in Education at Mankato State University in 1976 and a Special Education Degree in 1980. He spent the next 26 years at Jackson teaching students with learning disabilities.
Jack married Leslie Norton in 1974 and they had two children, Eric and Lisa.
At the ‘U’, he played on the Gophers’ last Big 10 championship in 1967.
Minnesota had an 8-2 record that season and finished in three-way tie for the title with Indiana and Purdue. Conference rules sent the Hoosiers to the Rose Bowl, even though Minnesota held the head-to-head tiebreaker.
There were no other bowl options at the time, so the Gophers stayed home.
Known at the time as John Walsh, he was one of two players on the team named John Walsh.
Jack was listed on the 1967 roster as John J. (Red) Walsh. A guard, he was small by today’s standards as he was listed as 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds.
The Gophers also had a linebacker on the roster who went by John W. Walsh.
Among Jack’s teammates at Minnesota was Jackson High School graduate Dennis Hale.
Hale is highlighted twice in the Gophers 42-minute highlight film for the season.
The first is a fumble recovery vs. Utah the 2:00 mark and the other is an interception he returned 43 yards vs. Michigan State at 18:40:
Jack had a couple of other notable teammates at the ‘U.’
Tight end Charlie Sanders went on to play in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also, defensive lineman McKinley Boston went on to play professionally for the New York Giants in the NFL and British Columbia Lions in the CFL and later serves as athletic director and then vice president for student development and athletics at Minnesota.
Thanks to Gary Hildebrandt for his help with the Jackson/JCC photos. Brett Larson also contributed to this newsletter.