Class of 1960
Inducted in 2014 & 2018
Jim was inducted into the SHSAA Packer Sports Greats in 2014 and the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 2018.
During high school, Jim wrestled and had an undefeated dual meet season in his sophomore and senior years. He was undefeated in district and state championships his senior year in high school. During his junior year in high school, he started coaching wrestling at the South YMCA and was paid ten cents per student, per session. His teams won five consecutive state YMCA championships.
He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha University on athletic scholarships and graduated with and bachelor’s degree in education in 1965. At Omaha University his dual meet record was 20–2. That team wrestled only nine times his junior year and he had a 9-0 record. At UNO he suffered several concussions and injuries which included a broken nose and knee injury.
He worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota at Mankato and obtained his master’s degree in education in 1971. Jim taught and coached football, wrestling and track and field from 1967 through 1970 at Lewis & Clark Junior High.
From 1971 through 1997, he was an administrator in Physical Education and Athletics for OPS (Omaha Public Schools), initiating physical education programs for primary grades to develop their neuromuscular coordination by the age of 10. In 1976 he developed guidelines for playground equipment to include safety while developing strength and coordination. Jim directed OPS junior high and middle school city tournaments in wrestling, swimming and track and field from 1972 to 1997 when he retired. Jim organized a committee for the Nebraska Winter Games during 1996 and 1997 that included a banquet for participants and their families (totaling 4,000) at the Strategic Air and Space Museum.
Later, he took part in road races and duathlons. He won over 200 medals and trophies during the 80s and 90s in those events. Fuxa competed for the USA Duathlon team and placed sixth in his age group in the 1993 world championships in Dallas. Even later in life, he participated in the Senior Winter Games in Summit County, Colo., winning numerous first place medals in Nordic skiing, snow shoe racing and the biathlon (shooting and Nordic skiing).
He also suggested to a staff member at Sunny Slope a way to get a plan period for the elementary classroom teachers. He approached the Omaha Education Association with the idea that teachers receive plan time while traveling specialists were with their students. Jim also guided several teachers in the development of the curriculum guide called the “War on Weight.”
In 1993, Jim proposed to the leadership of the JROTC program in OPS schools that they initiate a biathlon at the high school level, which included running and shooting. It has been an annual event ever since.
Near the end of his career with OPS, he volunteered to coach wrestling at Beveridge Middle School where he coached from 1995-1997. His final year, his team won the city wrestling championship. Those same wrestlers, along with members of Morton’s team moved on to Burke High School where they won Burke’s first and only state wrestling championship. Jim coached two different youth soccer teams to state cup championships in 1985 and 1986.