Bemidji’s Hazeman to be inducted into MnIAAA Hall of Fame
Don Hazeman of Bemidji will officially be inducted into the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Hall of Fame March 29 at the Kelly Inn in St. Cloud.
The honor recognizes Hazeman’s 37 years as the Red Lake High School athletic director.
The MnIAAA honors its members and other individuals connected with Minnesota co-curricular programs who have distinguished themselves or have otherwise made significant contributions to Minnesota high school athletics, according to a MnIAA news release.
Hazeman graduated from Big Lake High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education/health, business education, driver’s education and coaching from St. Cloud State. He later earned his Master’s degree in education from BSU and his superintendent and principal’s licensure from St. Thomas.
Hazeman began his career in education at Red Lake in 1968 and served the Red Lake School District as a teacher, three-sport coach, principal and assistant principal. He still fills those vacancies when needed.
He was a member of the MnIAAA for many years, assisted with the Retired AD’s Association, served as a member of the MSHSL sportsmanship committee, was a district tournament manager for many years and was extremely active in conference, district and regional planning and organizational meetings.
Hazeman initiated the organization of the first District 29 baseball conference in 1972 and attended two National athletic director’s conferences
Hazeman coached the first Red Lake sports team to ever participate in a state tournament when he coached the baseball team in 1990 and was subsequently named as the Coach of the Year in baseball that year. He was awarded the Superintendent’s Award for outstanding leadership in coaching and sports program development while at Red Lake High School.
Hazeman is an active member with the Beltrami County Planning Commission, is a volunteer instructor for the AARP defensive driving courses, served as a member on the Red Lake Indian Education Advisory Board for 20 years and coached summer baseball for 25 years.
“I have been fortunate to have been able to work at a school that rewarded me with so many glorious, rewarding, challenging and exciting opportunities to help mold the lives of so many great students,” Hazeman said after learning of his Hall of Fame nomination.
“Over the years I have had the opportunity to be part of taking a group of RLHS students inside the Rose Garden and personally meeting President Carter and shake his hand and to coaching the school to the first state boy’s baseball tournament in 1990.
“I am also proud of being a part of the national attention our boys’ basketball program received as it proved that regardless of how small schools are, or how insignificant one may feel, the opportunity is always there to lead a sports program to higher and greater levels of achievement.”
Even though Hazeman is retired he doesn’t hesitate to return to Red Lake when asked.
“After 10 years of retirement and 44 years in education, I am still very active in working in education because I still find it as exciting, challenging and rewarding as I did back in 1968 – a love I think I’ll probably always have,” he said.