John Hilsenteger, a former assistant executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association, died Wednesday, July 18. He was 72.
A member of the OSAA staff for 26 years, Hilsenteger retired in 1994, but continued to work state championship events as a football and basketball statistician and official scorer for baseball and softball championship games. He also coordinated entries and results for state track meets.
Oregon high school sports history was a decades-long passion for Hilsenteger and he assisted with OSAA records maintenance throughout his retirement. In 1997, he was a member of a national team of statistics experts that wrote the first National Federation of State High School Association Statistician’s Manual.
Prior to his 1968 hiring at the OSAA, Hilsenteger served four years as press relations officer for U.S. National Bank of Oregon. His association with the OSAA began in 1966 when he began handling publicity and statistics for what then was known as the A-1 basketball tournament at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
As a sportswriter Hilsenteger covered golf and hockey for The Oregonian from 1958 to 1964. He also worked in the sports departments of the Oregon Journal and the Register-Guard in Eugene.
A 1957 graduate of Franklin High School in Portland, Hilsenteger attended University of Oregon and graduated with a degree in business administration from Portland State College in ’62.
Hilsenteger served on several athletic associations and committees: Portland Chamber of Commerce Sports Committee, Portland Amateur Baseball Association, Portland Hockey Club, Portland Metro Softball Association (president), Oregon Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association, NFHS Baseball and Softball Rules Committee (chairman), NFHS Football Rules Committee (secretary) and Portland Interscholastic League Athletic Fundraising Drive and Hall of Fame.
Hilsenteger was diagnosed with colon cancer in October of 2011. He was aware of his family’s presence at the time of his death early Wednesday morning.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, August 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland.