Longtime MHS scorekeeper dies
Jim Ackley is overcome with emotion Dec. 4 as the crowd acknowledges his 50 years of working with the Mundelein High School basketball program. | Darrell Harmon~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 2:46PM
MUNDELEIN – An icon from the Mundelein High School athletic department has died.
Known throughout the state as an avid basketball fan, retired Carl Sandburg Middle School principal and high school basketball scorekeeper Jim Ackley died Dec. 19.
MHS Athletic Director Perry Wilhelm said Ackley had battled an illness for a long time but the loss was still sudden.
“It is a sad time for MHS basketball,” Wilhelm said. “He will be missed. I have not known boys basketball without him.”
Two weeks earlier, Ackley was recognized for his 50 years as the scorekeeper for boys basketball program.
Just before a Dec. 4 game against Lake Zurich, the No. 50 was retired by the high school, and Ackley was given a custom jersey with that number. Players, coaches, and family wore custom T-shirts honoring Ackley’s contributions.
“I always said, ‘He is the greatest Mustang ever,” boys basketball coach Richard Knar said. “He was a great friend. He had an unbelievable passion for Mundelein HS. I wanted him around my players as much as possible.”
His efforts were also recognized regionally. Ackley was recently inducted into the Lake County Hall of Fame, and, in November, Ackley was chosen for the 3A/4A Friends of Athletics award given by the Illinois Athletic Directors Association.
“I was not fortunate enough to know him on a personal level but I did get plenty of observations over the past four-and-a-half years, and I could see how much of a positive influence Mr. Ackley was on not only our student athletes but also our coaches and the opposing coaches,” Principal Lauren Fagel said. “He was definitely a class act. We were fortunate that he dedicated most of his time to us.”
Ackley attended every state finals basketball tournament since 1961, missing only one year. He was the tournament scorekeeper in 1993 and 1994.
He was survived by his wife Shirley Ackley, who was a long-time employee at MHS until retiring a few years ago.