Year Inducted: 2001
Schools / Organizations: IHSA
Biography: It has been said it is great to retire at the top of your profession. That was certainly the case for Jim Padberg when he officiated Carmi’s visit to Salem on Feb. 16, 2001. That game ended a 31-year basketball officiating career. The Patoka resident was at the top of his game when he called it quits, as evidenced by his resume. Padberg officiated 22 straight regionals since his first in 1979, sectionals for eight straight years since 1993 and found four straight supersectional assignments beginning in 1997. The clincher is he was selected to work Class A state tournaments in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Padberg drew holiday tournament assignments at Centralia, Breese Mater Dei, Charleston, Vandalia and Dietrich. January conference and invitationals found Padberg at Nashville, Salem, Benton, Belleville East and Chester while Thanksgiving tournaments found him at Lawrenceville and Carlyle. In addition, Padberg was behind a whistle in the 1992 IBCA All-Star game. Regular-season games between Carlyle and Trenton Wesclin in 1989 and 1990, when those schools alternated as Class A champions, were his favorite games to work. Padberg also had the distinction of umpiring three state baseball tournaments and is one of the few who have worked baseball and basketball state tournaments in the same year. Padberg died on February 20, 2013 at age 65. IBCA Hall of Fame coach Brad Weathers of Nashville delivered the eulogy at Padberg’s funeral.