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Meet Your Neighbor: Jimmie Pack

May 9, 2017 GMT

He went to college in a big city and realized that wasn’t what he wanted.

“I like the small-town feel, the tightness of the North Platte community,” said Jimmie Pack of North Platte. “I like small-town Nebraska where you say hello to somebody in the story and they say it back, or you’re out mowing your lawn and you wave to somebody and they wave back.”

Pack was born in Indianapolis and came to North Platte when he was 7 years old. His mom, Mary Gilmore, is from North Platte. Pack has two siblings.

“I have an older sister who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and a little brother who was born and raised here,” Pack said.

He is married to Abbie and they have two children, Baileigh, 14, and Jack, soon to be 5.

When he was in high school, Pack played several sports but was most known for basketball. His senior year, 2000, the Bulldogs set several records and qualified for the state tournament.

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“We lost to the eventual state champions in the semifinals,” Pack said. “Aside from playing in college, it’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of playing here for North Platte High. That year, our team set the record at that time for most wins in a season at 17, most wins in a row at 11.”

There were seven seniors on that team, which Pack said doesn’t happen very often.

“Six of us ended up playing college basketball,” Pack said. “Some of those guys were my best friends growing up, so we were inseparable during high school.”

Pack said he has great memories from that basketball season.

“What I remember about that year was how much support we had from the community,” Pack said. “The night we won districts, the cars followed the bus to the school honking and flashing their lights at us.”

The attention continued as the team prepared for their state tournament appearance.

“We had a police escort out of town to the interstate on our way to Lincoln,” Pack said. “It was like 6 in the morning and people were pulling over, holding signs up, and it was pretty special. My grandma still has pictures of all the blue and gold in the arena. It was awesome.”

His dad, Wayne Pack, played in the National Basketball Association.

“He played for the Indiana Pacers,” Pack said. “It was something as a kid I told everybody, but when I got older, people’s expectations were too high for me so I quit telling people that about middle school.”

Pack went on to play college basketball at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in teaching. He has been teaching U.S. history for seven years.

“From fourth grade on I wanted to be a teacher,” Pack said. “Besides sports, that’s all I ever wanted to do.”

He is still involved in sports.

“Softball is a huge hobby,” Pack said. “We started a team in high school and I’ve played ever since then.”

He loves time with his family as well.

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“I love fishing,” Pack said. “I’ve gotten my little boy into fishing this last summer and that’s been fun. We go camping a lot as a family. We did that a lot when I was a kid, so it’s fun to see my kids get into it as well.”

Pack also coaches freshman football, track and field, and basketball.

One thing many people don’t know about this jock coach is what he likes to do at home.

“I have a passion for cooking,” Pack said. “I cook dinner every night for the family and watch food shows nonstop, and I have a lot of cookbooks.”

His favorite dish to cook started out pretty rough.

“I really enjoy getting a good beef brisket going,” Pack said. “We had the whole family over for Christmas, so I made several of them, but I was pretty nervous with cousins and aunts depending on you. It turned out good.”

Pack said he and Abbie have an arrangement: “I cook, she cleans. It’s the unspoken agreement in the house.”