SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A long-time South Dakota high school sports official died Monday after a bout with COVID-19. Mitchell native Buck Timmins was an official and teacher, and dedicated his life to wearing the stripes.
The news of Buck Timmins’ death hit friends and colleagues hard.
“Shock and honestly still a little bit numb,” SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand said.
“The general public maybe wouldn’t know who Buck Timmins was, but if you’re an official in the state, if you’re an athletic director, if you’re a coach, you knew who Buck Timmins was,” Mitchell Activities Director Cory Aadland said.
Timmins spent parts of six decades officiating or teaching, most recently serving as Officials Coordinator for the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
“Buck was so good and so relatable that he could have a high-level conversation with a guy like Kelly Pfeifer, who’s working division one basketball or a Brandon Cruse, who’s working Big 12 football right now, and have the same conversation and the same advice and the same willingness to work with a guy who just put the stripes on for the first time,” Krogstrand said.
“He would put on a jamboree, a clinic in Warner on one day and would be out at Pine Ridge the next day. He covered the whole state and just really enjoyed giving back and made it his personal mission,” Aadland said.
In 2011, Timmins received the Activities Association’s Distinguished Service Award, but the honors weren’t confined to his home state.
“His work was so good that he was recognized to be put on a national committee that literally writes the book on how football officials work a high school football game,” Krogstrand said.
He’s gone too soon, but never forgotten.
“We’ll replace the position, but we’ll never replace the man,” Krogstrand said.
Timmins was 72 years old.