Jim Thies, who served as the sports information director at University of Wisconsin-River Falls from 1976-2015, has received a 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The CoSIDA Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to members who have served at least 25 years in the profession (as of June of that year) who are retiring or leaving the profession. Thies is the third Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference individual to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from CoSIDA. UW-Eau Claire’s Tim Petermann claimed the distinction in 2008, while UW-Whitewater’s Tom Fick was recognized in 2014.
Thies was the second sports information director at UWRF, having replaced his predecessor after one year. For most of his tenure he was also UWRF’s assistant public affairs director and was a member of several UWRF committees, including budget, public relations, academic staff council and Athletic Hall of Fame.
Thies’ exceptional service and positive influence earned him the 2012 UWRF Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, 2020 Wisconsin Athletics Intercollegiate Conference (WIAC) Tom Butler Award (for outstanding contributions to WIAC athletics), and induction into the UWRF Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.
In 1995 with the help of his then student employee Brett Longdin, Thies set up the first website for the UWRF Athletic Department. At the time, it was the first website for an intercollegiate athletic department in the state of Wisconsin.
Thies has served on several College Sports Information Director's of America (CoSIDA) committees. He has also been active in several other organizations in the community including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the American Diabetes Association, the Hudson Hockey Association and St. Patrick's Parish.
Thies, who earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications with a print emphasis from Minnesota State University Mankato, was also the first head coach of the Hudson High School girls’ hockey team, guiding the Raiders to the first two Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association girls’ hockey state championships in 2002 and 2003.