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Hartmann earns state award of merit

Alexandria’s David Hartmann has made a habit of being actively involved at the local, state and national levels in his administration duties over his career, and last week he was recognized for that with the National High School Federation State Award of Merit.

The Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrations Association (MnIAAA) uses this award to honor individuals connected with co-curricular programs who have made significant contributions to Minnesota high school athletic programs. Hartmann was presented the award at a banquet in St. Cloud last Wednesday night with his entire family there to share the moment.

“I’m very honored to be selected,” Hartmann said. “A lot of great people have won this award. I was somewhat surprised but very pleased. You always do what you do, but don’t expect these kinds of things. When it comes along, it’s kind of special.”

Each year, a committee of athletic directors selects a recipient from Minnesota for this award. Hartmann himself is a 20-year member of MnIAAA and has served as chair of the State Award of Merit Committee. On top of this award, he has also been named the Region 8AA athletic administrator of the year in 2000 and 2011 and the MnIAAA athletic administrator of the year for all AA schools in 2000.

“I have been very blessed to have outstanding music directors, drama directors, advisors, as well as coaches who have really helped me along the journey as an athletic administrator,” Hartmann said. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how they have taught me a lot and done wonderful things with our kids to create the program that we have.”

Hartmann is in his 21st year as the activities director for a program of 50 sports and fine art activities in Alexandria. During his tenure, Alexandria has added girls hockey, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls Nordic skiing, boys and girls Alpine skiing, adapted bowling, rainbow strings, robotics and trap shooting.

Hartmann makes it a point to be at almost every event that he is responsible for as the activities director. He spends most of his nights during the spring, winter and fall seasons going to multiple events to make sure he is there to support them and can identify the pulse of the program.

“I think to do the job, you have to have a sense of what’s going on in the program,” Hartmann said. “People have questions and concerns and you’re able to assess that because you’ve been a part of that…I watch things totally different than what fans do. I might be watching the coaches and how the coach interacts with the players and how the players on the bench are focused and responding.”

There was a time in Hartmann’s life where he saw himself as a future college basketball coach instead of an administrator after playing basketball, football and track at the University of Minnesota-Morris. It was a stop at the University of Iowa where that changed. It’s there that he earned his Ph.D. in 1991 after getting his bachelor’s degree from Morris in 1974 and his master’s degree from Mankato State University in 1977.

“I think the experience I had at Iowa,” Hartmann said when asked why he switched his focus from coaching to administration work. “I really enjoyed the involvement that I had. I got to be assistant director of the Big Ten indoor track meet and involved with a number of things with the athletic department at Iowa, and I just really enjoyed that part of it.”

Hartmann moved to Alexandria in 1993 and took over in his role as the activities director. He has been highly active within the conference, Region 8AA and in the MnIAAA throughout his time in Alexandria.

Hartmann has also served on several task forces and committees at the Minnesota State High School League level, including as the board of directors president and vice president. He is a MSHSL coach’s education instructor where he has taught more than 60 classes with more than 1,000 students to certify people to become head coaches in Minnesota.

Hartmann has helped with the success of the Cardinal Athletic Foundation in Alexandria as well as taking an active role in his support for building the new high school in Alexandria. He also led the facilities enhancement project that raised extra funds for the athletic complex at the new high school, which will open in the fall of 2014.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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