August 4th, 2013

Hyland's Heroes: Jim Brinkman

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Jim Brinkman
Jim Brinkman is on the far right / photo from the Brinkman family

JIM BRINKMAN, St. Martha Football Field Manager & Toy Bowl announcer at St. Xavier HS

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. Know someone that should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to

August has arrived, and before the kids get back into the rhythm of school they are already gathering on the field to practice for the upcoming football season. It takes the efforts of so many to make the CSAA football season successful and every job is significant. Today we’re going to highlight a gentleman who wears two football hats. Jim Brinkman serves St. Martha parish as a field manager and completes the year as the Toy Bowl announcer for the games played at St. Xavier.

Jim grew up in Cincinnati, OH and is a loyal native having attended Roger Bacon HS and Miami University at Oxford, OH. He ran track and played football in high school, then played for the Redhawks in college. Because of his hard work and academic success, he was named an Evans Scholarship winner which certainly enhanced his college life. These awards are specifically provided to golf caddies and considered quite prestigious. Jim’s love of sports ultimately led to his true love, his wife Dianne, who was also active in multiple sports, especially volleyball and softball. In fact she has coached in the CSAA program and led her teams to seven volleyball championships.

Jim and Dianne have seen their kids replicate there earlier careers by their own participation in sports. Kevin, 23, played baseball and football at St Xavier and was an outfielder for four years at Transylvania University. Bo, 22, played baseball and ran Cross Country at St Xavier. He was invited to run in the All-American run in Birmingham, Al., and graduated from Notre Dame. Katie, 20, is a junior at Centre and played volleyball at Assumption. Kelly, 16, is now a junior and serves as goalie for Assumption’s field hockey team.

This is an active and dedicated family who has built many memories with the CSAA and we are grateful for their participation and loyalty to school, parish and the CSAA.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

As an official for Football (Toy Bowl,) CSAA Basketball (Finals,) and Track with the KFOA I was invited to the CSAA Christmas party in 1995.  I joined the St Martha Boosters in 1996 and started helping as the Football Coordinator, field manager, and announcing games immediately after that. So that would be 17 years ago this fall.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

I was asked by Joe Bergamini at St. X to assist in announcing the Toy Bowl at St. X in 2004 at the old field behind the school. I brought my daughter’s karaoke machine and crawled up in the open air press box above the stands. During the first year, a wind gush came around and blew off the 12 foot long aluminum sheet roof off of the press box and it fell 25 feet to the ground behind the stands. I have announced every year since then at St X and now announce games for the varsity baseball team.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

Baseball and basketball: four years; softball for two years and soccer for one year.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to young student athletes? 

St. Martha is a stewardship parish with expectations that you donate your time, talent and treasure back to the church. Since most of our treasure has been tied up in tuition to St X, Assumption, Notre Dame, Transylvania, Centre, etc, we have tried to give as much as our time and talent back to the church.

Who was the most influential person on your announcing/volunteering career? Why?  

Mike Guetig has set the gold standard for donating his time and talent to the CSAA, Holy Spirit, Trinity, and U of L for over 30 years. I have admired him and try to follow his example. He never seems to have a bad day and always has a smile in his approach. He is the consummate professional and represents his school with dignity and class.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach? 

Bob Valvano gave a speech at St Martha and discussed that there are only two things that he asks his team after a game: Did you learn something during the game? And, did you have fun? If you accomplish those two goals during your game/life, then you will be successful.

What does announcing/refereeing bring to you, your family? 

My family has always treated sports as a profession, some would say obsession, with my dad working for the Reds, and my brother playing in the NFL, and six members of my immediate family playing college sports. Announcing and refereeing allows me to be a part of the game and hopefully better the experience for the fans.    

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of announcing/refereeing? 

In the Toy Bowl, probably the seven overtime game in the 2010 6th grade AAA where Ryan Neutz of St Gabriel ran for eight touchdowns to beat St. Patrick 50-49.

As a referee, getting on ESPN highlights for a 104 yard interception return for a touchdown in the Dayton vs Georgetown 1998 game which was the first game ever at Rawlings Stadium.

Announcing a family member, announcing the 1-0 win for St X baseball in 2008 over eventual state-champion PRP in 9 innings with Justin Amlung ( U of L, Cubs) and Ryan Mosby (Spalding) pitching for St X and my son Kevin making the game-saving catch in left field.



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