1984 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Jimmy will go down in history of aquatics in Rhode Island, as a man completely devoted to this field of endeavor. Not only was Jim an outstanding swimming coach, but also became known as the “father of swimming” in the city of Cranston, where he initiated the first swim programs for the school department as well as the recreation department.
At Central High School, Jim was a 3 sport athlete in football, wrestling, and track.
Jim served with the Navy in the Pacific Theatre of Operations in World War II. After the war, Jim attended Arnold College in Connecticut, where he played on the football team with Andy Robustelli, noted star for the N.Y. Giants in the 1950’s. During his college career, Jim taught Red Cross Lifesaving courses at the local beaches in Milford, Connecticut.
In 1958 he was appointed aquatic director of the new Gladstone Pool in Cranston. He initiated the first “Learn to Swim” program, as well as a the summer swimming program at Gladstone pool. Jim also started the Cranston Swim Club, which became an age-group swim power in the state.
With the opening of the new Cranston West High School in the early 1960’s, Jim started the first swimming team at the school. Within a few short years, Jim established himself as one of the outstanding state and New England Swim coaches – his high school teams winning state titles in 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1976. They also won the New England title in 1972; the Brown Interscholastic Championship in 1968, and 1972; the Max Read Memorial Championship in 1972 and 1976. When retiring in 1983, Jim had compiled a record of over 200 dual meet wins – 47 of which were consecutive in the 1071, 1972, and 1973 seasons.
In 1975, Jim was awarded the “Joseph L. Tracey Memorial Award”, which is the highest award given by the R.I. Interscholastic Swimming Officials Association to individuals who have contributed to the field of swimming and aquatics. He also served as president of the R.I. and New England Swim Coaches Associations.