Mary Jane Grinaker
Inducted Saturday, September 29, 2007
Mary Grinaker graduated from Moorhead High School in 1977. During high school she participated in band, orchestra, choir, track, basketball and tennis. She was recognized as girl athlete of the year in her sophomore, junior and senior years. Grinaker led the girls basketball team to 17 victories in 21 games, averaging 18.5 points per game. She twice made it to the state tennis tournament. In track, Grinaker set state records in the 60-yard hurdles, the 880-yard relay and the long jump. In 1974 she tied the national high school record in the 110-yard hurdles.
At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Grinaker set a school and Big Ten record in the pentathlon in 1979 and co-captained the track and field team, which in her three years as a team member took Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor championships. Grinaker earned her master’s degree in exercise physiology from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, where she served as head coach of track and field and cross country from 1981-1991, producing several Division III All-Americans. She was meet director for several NCAA Division III championships and an officer for several track and field and coaches associations.
In 1991 Grinaker returned to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as assistant coach of track and field and cross country. During her tenure, the teams won 12 Big Ten Conference championships, boasted 21 NCAA individual champions and won 90 Big Ten individual and relay championships.
Since 2002, Grinaker has been a recovery team member at Regeneration Technologies, Inc., which uses tissue donations to repair and promote healing of human bone and other tissues. In 2002, Grinaker became assistant coach of track and field for Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin, and the team won its first state championship since 1979.
Grinaker was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame in 2006. She also has been organizing a local committee for “Girls on the Run,” a program that combines self-esteem enhancing lessons with running workouts and games.
Grinaker has two children, Anika and Ella. She lives in Middleton, Wisconsin.