Coach/Contributor ⋅ Class of 1993
Conant High School
Jim is a four year All Conference Wrestler and an All-Conference Football player from East Leyden, where he performed for Hall of Famers Chuck Farina and Jack Leese. He did his collegiate wrestling at Triton Junior College and Illinois State University, where again he performed for Hall of Famers, the deceased Art Kraft and Dr. Robertson Koehler. He was also the quarterback on the Triton football team.
This is his 20th year at Conant High School, 19 of these years has been as the Head Coach. Not counting 1993, Jim has developed teams that have won over 300 dual meets, won 15 MidStates League South Team Titles, 11 MidStates League Overall Titles, won 7 Regions, 4 Sectionals and Placed 2nd in the State. He has had 53 State Individual Qualifiers with 25 State Place winners and 3 were Champions.
He has been the IWCOA Treasurer for 4 years and in 1984 he was President of this organization. During this time he was instrumental in developing the Official Clinics and instigated the inclusion of Officials in the Hall of Fame.
* He has hosted Instructional State Wide IWCOA Committee Clinics for 7 years. He has hosted a yearly Coaches Clinic as IWCOA Fund Raiser for years.
* He was name IWCOA Coach of the year in 1983.
* He has been a National High School Coach of the Year Nominee in 1983 and 90.
* His teams have been ranked in the top 10 ten times, he has had to nationally ranked teams.
* He has been the Midland Tournament Floor Manager twice
* He has been Ambassador to the Soviet National Team
* He has hosted 13 Free-Style Regional, 4 Free Style and Greco-Roman State Tournaments
* He has had over 40 Free Style and Greco qualifiers and 10 National Free Style and Greco place winners, including two champions
* He has been the Team Leader to the Junior National and has been on the Free Style Coaching Staff 10 times, 6 times as Head Coach.
* In 1985 he was the Head Free Style Coach on the Cultural Exchange Trip to China.
* He has also coached 3 High School All Americans
Mr. James Cartwright
Jim Cartwright was a four-year All Conference wrestler and an All-Conference Football player from East Leyden High School for fellow Hall of Famers Chuck Farina and Jack Leese. He wrestled at Triton Junior College and Illinois State University, for two more Hall of Famers, Art Kraft and Dr. Robertson Koehler. He was also the quarterback on the Triton football team.
Jim is in his thirty-second year at Conant High School, where he serves as the Driver Education Department Chairman. He was hired as a varsity football assistant in 1973. He coached football for twelve years and has coached football for his entire tenure, serving as head coach for twenty-five of those years. Jim’s wrestling teams have won 425 dual meets, 21 Mid Suburban South Championships and 17 overall MSL League titles. His teams have been Regional champs 15 times, Sectional champ 5 times, and have place second in state in 1983, 1995, and 2000. His teams have been ranking in the top ten in Illinois 14 times and nationally ranked twice.
During his years at Conant, Jim, produced 82 individual state qualifiers, 32 place-winners, 8 of which were State Champions, including 5 high School All-Americans.
His contributions and post season service to wrestling include:
* Illinois freestyle national coaching staff 17 times, head coach 10 times
* Produced 15 high school All-Americans in freestyle/Greco-Roman, with 5 National Champions from Conant High School
* Served as head Freestyle coach on international competition trips to China, Russia and Italy
* Ambassador to Soviet National Team in 1984
* Worked in the wrestling venue at the 1996 summer Olympic Games in Atlanta
* Served as Treasurer of the IWCOA in 1984. During this time he helped develop officials clinics, which are now required, and was instrumental in the inclusion of officials into the IWCOA Hall of Fame
* Current member of the IWCOA Hall of Fame Selection Committee
* Served on the board of directors for the National Coaches Association
* Hosted developmental commuter camps, annual coaches clinics, and freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments
During his career, Jim has been recognized for his service by the following organizations:
* Elected to the IWCOA Hall of Fame, 1993
* National coach of the year nomine 1983, 1990, 1999
* USA Wrestling Northern Plains developmental coach of the year, 1994
* IWCOA coach of the year, 1983 and 2000, nominated six other years
* IHSA Individual State Tournament Grand Marshal, 2003
Throughout the years, Jim’s family has been very supportive. His wife, Sharon, a corporate employee of Osco Drug, and wrestling window, has been supportive of all his activities and time away from the family. His daughter, Courtney, a recent graduate of Augustana College, is currently pursuing a job in education specializing in art and psychology, and is qualified to coach swimming and softball. His son, Jason, is a former wrestler and recent graduate and football player at Indiana University.