DEAL: Local sports aren’t the same without Buck Timmins

Long-time official and SDHSAA's statewide officials coordinator died in November.

Hall of Shrine - Buck Timmins.jpg
Buck Timmins receives the Hall of Shrine Award at the 2015 Class AA state boys basketball tournament in Sioux Falls.

It’s my favorite time of the year and something is missing: Buck Timmins.

We lost William “Buck” Milton Timmins III -- a Mitchell native and long-time South Dakota sports official -- on Nov. 16 after battling COVID-19. Timmins, 72, served as the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s statewide officials coordinator after he began his officiating career in 1974. He was also a former high school football, basketball and track and field coach.

So Buck was a regular at all sporting events -- no matter the level -- in and around Mitchell for decades. Buck also regularly drove five hours to Minneapolis to watch his grandchildren’s sporting events. He loved sports and he loved his family.

I joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in 2016 and quickly realized Buck was an important figure in the community. He was also a faithful Mitchell Republic reader and hardly anything got by him. In his polite and sincere demeanor, he’d ask me why something didn’t get in the sports section.

He was never upset or called us out. He was just being Buck and Buck genuinely cared about the athletes. He wanted to make sure they were being recognized.


I remember laboring over local sports results and saying to myself: “I better get this in or Buck will notice we didn’t.” I knew Buck was always reading through those glasses and I wanted to come through for him.

The Corn Palace comes alive from November to March because of prep and college basketball. So naturally I frequent the Palace plenty this time of year. So did Buck and the hallowed venue isn’t the same without him.

No matter the game or day, there was Buck on the bleachers, stage or soft seats watching like a hawk. He monitored the action from an official’s perspective.

Me, I’d watch from a sports reporter’s view and certain players or coaching adjustments. He’d analyze the officials and how they were calling the game.

Buck, using his patented hand motions, would break down calls and observe certain situations more than I ever thought about. He would explain a game situation one minute and the next minute, he would be snoozing. The next minute he’d be summing up the action without skipping a beat.

I always looked forward to seeing Buck and we’d regularly trade notes or rumors about area sports. He was a great resource for my job. But he was so much more than that.

He was a friend, a friendly face and a family man.

We all miss you, Buck.

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