Bartz an adapted sports champion

John Bartz was a lifelong Minnesota sports figure whose accomplishments included work with prep adapted sports tournaments. Bartz died April […]

Photo of John Bartz

John Bartz was a lifelong Minnesota sports figure whose accomplishments included work with prep adapted sports tournaments. Bartz died April 9. He was 89 and lived in Vadnais Heights. 

Bartz grew up in St. Paul and was a graduate of Washington High School, where he was active in sports. He graduated from Hamline University and the University of St. Thomas. He was also a U.S. Army veteran. 

He began his career at North St. Paul High School as a business education teacher and hockey and baseball coach. He was athletic director for 16 years, and was an assistant principal at Tartan High School from 1982-85. 

Bartz became an associate director of the Minnesota State High School League in 1985, staying there until he retired in 2001. He directed several state tournaments and helped start the girls’ state hockey tournament in 1994. 

He was active in establishing the state tournaments for adapted sports, helping to make Minnesota the first state to recognize such programs. It was one of his proudest accomplishments. 

Bartz was also an active hockey official throughout Minnesota for decades who officiated in a record 11 state tournaments and was assigned to officiate the championship game seven times. He was honored for his service at the 2022 state tournament. 

He is a member of the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame, the Hamline University Athletic Hall of Fame, and Mancini’s Sports Hall of Fame.  He is survived by his life partner Eunice Hadlich, a son, daughters and their families.  Services have been held, with internment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Presbyterian Church of the Way-Music Education.

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