‘A huge legend at NIC’

Print Article


Jack Bloxom was the ultimate Cardinal.

A one-time assistant basketball coach, Bloxom started the baseball program at North Idaho College, coaching from 1968 to 1997, totaling more than 550 wins.

Bloxom died on Tuesday. He was 80.

“He’s been a fixture in our athletic program for years,” said NIC athletic director Al Williams, who played on the basketball team when Bloxom was an assistant coach in 1978. “He helped push baseball to where it was and is in our Athletic Hall of Fame. When you mention NIC athletics, you’ve got to mention him as one of the legends of our program.”

Growing up in Sandpoint, Bloxom played all sports and enjoyed fishing and hunting. He served as student body president his senior year, set a state record in basketball scoring 37 points in the state tournament, and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1956.

While attending the University of Idaho, Jack received a bachelor’s degree in 1960, a master’s degree in education in 1963, and lettered three years in baseball.

Paul Manzardo succeeded Bloxom as NIC coach in 1998, and guided the Cardinals through the 2002 season, when the school cut the program.

“When he retired, he was pretty much my mentor when I was at NIC,” Manzardo said. “He’d always help with the field and give me advice on practice plans, and game strategy and we talked a lot of baseball. I was blessed to have him next to me in my coaching years. I was very new at it, and he was well-polished at it.

“Everyone in the baseball community, if you mention Bloxom, they think NIC,” Manzardo added. “He’s a huge legend at NIC and influenced a lot of people that came before and after him.”

Bloxom played on three state championship teams and one regional championship slowpitch softball team. He was selected to the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame in 1993, the Sandpoint High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and the North Idaho College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.

After coaching at NIC, Manzardo coached youth baseball for several years. He’s been Lake City’s baseball coach since 2016.

“Jack really taught me about what it’s like to be a baseball coach,” Manzardo said. “It’s not just about throwing out bats and balls. It’s about all the intangibles that go with it. He’s probably the hardest-working coach that I’ve known. I’ve tried to model what I do around him and outwork my opponents. He taught me how to edge a field, and get water and snow off the field.”

In 1987, Bloxom was selected as head coach for the U.S. West baseball team that competed in the U.S. Olympic Festival in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“Even in his later years, he remained active and always considered himself a Cardinal,” Williams said. “He lived and breathed Cardinal athletics until the end, and was always loyal to the program. He coached me when I was here as an athlete, and I consider him a mentor and life-long friend.”

Services will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Yates Funeral Home — Coeur d’Alene Chapel, 744 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, with burial to follow at Riverview Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene.

Print Article

Read More Sports

THE FRONT ROW WITH JASON ELLIOTT: Credit to the kids, they made it happen

May 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press We’ve heard in great detail about just how much havoc rain played on the state softball tournaments last weekend in Kootenai County. No, it wasn’t drawn up to play with no consolation rounds, crews ...


Read More

LEGION BASEBALL: Rain washes away season openers

May 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The season-opening American Legion games for the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen and the Prairie Cardinals class AA teams were rained out on Friday. Prairie’s opening round games against the Spokane Expos 1...


Read More

Saint Mary’s ends Zags’ season

May 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press STOCKTON, Calif. — Gonzaga’s season came to an end Friday night with its second loss in two nights to Saint Mary’s, this time 4-3 in a loser-out game of the West Coast Conference baseball tournament....


Read More

On the rebound: coaches Cassidy, Berube in Stanley Cup Final


May 25, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Bruce Cassidy has come a long way from writing his first NHL practice plan on a napkin. Craig Berube hasn't changed a bit from the moment he was fired from his first NHL head coaching job. Tw...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy