Jim Haines demonstrates a desire to attain what was important to him. His demonstration of dedication and desire is used by many coaches as an example of setting a goal and striving to reach that goal. Russ Hellickson, former University of Wisconsin wrestling coach, says, "In his final season as a Badger wrestler, Jim competed on the World team, Pan Am team, and the Olympic team before winning his NCAA title. Not bad for a kid who couldn't get a takedown in the practice room as a freshman. He was a man who had turned expectation into achievement." Jim has a commitment to perfection and strives to reach his goals through dedication and work. At the University, Jim became known as "Takedown Machine." During his last year of collegiate competition, Jim scored 224 takedowns and 39 matches.
Jim is a fine individual and a fine athlete. He is willing to share his knowledge with others to promote the sport. Jim, on many occasions, will give clinics and demonstrations on wrestling just because wrestling is the object of conversation. Jim continues to be a clinician at various coaches' conventions and camps.
As a student at Arcadia High School Jim compiled a 84-4-0 win/loss record, and became the 1972 WIAA State Champion at 105. Jim entered the University of Wisconsin - Madison and became a Badger wrestler as a walk-on. Through hard work and determination, he was third in the Big Ten in 1974 and 1975, and in 1977 he placed second. Jim earned the NCAA National Championship at 118 pounds in 1977. He represented the Badgers as co-captain in 1977 and finished with a career record of 92-25-4.
Freestyle wrestling has been good to Jim and, with his perfection of the takedown, he has done well in national and international competition. Jim was a member on the 1976 Olympic team competing in Montreal, Canada. He was a Silver medallist in the World Games Championships held in San Diego, California in 1979. In the World Cup competition held in Toledo, Ohio, Jim was a Silver medallist in 1977 and a Gold medallist in 1978. Jim was three time National Freestyle champion and, in 1980, he was an Olympic Trials champion.
Jim was the wrestling coach at Cochrane-Fountain City for one year. He spent three years at Laona High School. It was while Jim was coaching at Laona had their first state place winner.
From there, Jim became the guidance counselor in Pepin, Wisconsin and worked with the elementary and junior high wrestling programs.