Glasser hanging up whistle, ready for winter vacations

Basketball official Jim Glasser tosses the opening tip during the Region 7 girls basketball tournament championship game on March 14 at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. It was Glasser’s last game as a basketball official after 24 years.

Jim Glasser is ready for some vacations to warmer climates in the winter.

At least that’s what his wife, Terry, tells him.

“She’s got plans for the winter time,” he said with a laugh.

After spending the first 21 years of his post-playing basketball career as a coach and the next 24 as an official, the 62-year-old Glasser is stepping away from the game.

“I think I’ll miss reffing more than I did teaching or coaching,” Glasser said. “It sounds funny. But, (you make) so many friends. You know all the coaches. I coached before, so I know how they were feeling during a game. You make friends with all the referees. We’ve got some good guys in southwest North Dakota.”

Glasser coached at New Town, New England, St. Mary’s and Dickinson High before leaving that profession and delving into officiating. He spent nearly a quarter century as a referee for basketball and several of those years as a volleyball official, which he gave up after the 2011 season.

He said even though his wife was urging him to spend more time enjoying his retirement, his body was also telling him it was time to step away.

“A person’s body, the aches don’t heal as fast when you get older,” he said.

Glasser, however, worked through the pain up until his final days as an official.

After a slip and fall on ice in late February caused him to dislocate his right shoulder, Glasser kept officiating games — complete with his right arm in a sling, which he ditched for the Region 7 Tournament.

The last game he officiated was the Region 7 girls basketball tournament championship game between Beach and Dickinson Trinity.

He officiated that one alongside his son, Dan Glasser, and even tossed the ball for the opening tip.

Dan Glasser said he cherished the times he would work with his father. Even more, he enjoyed the road trips to games outside of Dickinson.

“The best thing was just the travel time we spent together and just the knowledge he had for the game,” Dan Glasser said. “He pretty much knew what was going to happen for each game and told me to watch out for stuff like that. Always having my back and the biggest thing was, like I said, the time we spent together doing pretty much everything in basketball, whether it was playing together or him coaching me. The reffing part was the part where we spent the most time together and meant the most to me.”

Jim Glasser said being able to officiate with his son was the most special part about his time in the profession.

“That was great for me, just to work with my son,” Jim Glasser said. “We can spend time together, that’s great for any father-son relationship.”

Kim Anderson, the outgoing executive secretary of the Dickinson Roughrider Officials Association, said having Jim get Dan into officiating helped with the area’s dwindling number of officials.

“There aren’t a lot of father-sons that go into the officiating side, maybe more in the coaching side,” Anderson said. “It is rare.”

Jim Glasser said he understands why people would shy away from officiating, but said the stories he has gleaned and friendships he has made from his years in the business were worth every displeasing comment from unruly fans.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I’m glad I did it. I wish more people would try it.”

Author: Dustin Monke

Former newspaper editor. Now I market the best baked goods and donuts in America. But every once in a while, I write a cool story too.

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