My Life Series; John Lieser [PODCAST]
WJON's My Life series is featuring longtime football and basketball official John Lieser. John is also the former Apollo golf coach, Apollo and North Junior High English and History teacher and golf writer for the St. Cloud Times. John grew up in Freeport in Central Minnesota and graduated from Melrose High School. He says he loved sports growing up and participated in football, baseball, basketball, golf and he ran track. He says he really loved baseball and had a big collection of baseball cards as a kid. Listen to my 4-part conversation with John below.
Lieser in 1960 was a part of the Melrose boys basketball team who beat Crosby-Ironton to advance to the state tournament. The state tournament was one class at that time and he says making it to the state tournament was a huge accomplishment. Melrose was beaten in the state quarterfinals by Granite Falls but he says they went on to win the consolation title. Edgerton was the winner of the state tournament that season and John says they were Minnesota's version of Hoosiers.
Lieser went on to St. Cloud State where he played golf for the Huskies. Lieser majored in English and History at SCSU and graduated in 1969 with a masters. He got a job at North Junior High before leaving to take a job as an English and history teacher at Apollo High School. That was a position was one he held for more than 30 years. Lieser was the only head golf coach at Apollo and says he still stays in contact with some of the kids he coached.
John has been a basketball official for 60 years. He worked many years as a basketball and football official for both college and high school including stints in the North Central Conference and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Lieser at 77-years old is still working college and high school games today.