Jim was an extraordinary man who touched the lives of everyone he encountered. Not only was he loving and vivacious, but he was also ambitious and focused. It was this ambition that, at the age of 17, led him to write down a list of goals on a simple index card. And it was his focus that helped him to achieve them all by the age of 36.
The following timeline is just a small taste of Jim’s big life. But it reflects a life of passion, dedication and love that he lived every day.
Born: March 10, 1946, New York City
Died: April 28, 1993
1963: Seaford High School, Long Island, NY
1964–1967: Rutgers University, degree in English
1967 Senior Athlete of the Year
Led the Scarlet Knights to a 3rd-place finish in NIT
Rutgers’ 21st-highest scorer ever with 1,122 points
1968–1969: Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Johns Hopkins University (10-9)
Led the school to its first winning season in 24 years
1972–1975: Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Bucknell University (33-42)
1975–1980: Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Iona College
Finished with 99-47 record with two NCAA appearances
1980–1990: Head Men’s Basketball Coach, North Carolina State University (209-114)
1983: NC State won the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Basketball Championship
1986: Named Athletic Director of NC State University
1990: Signed with ABC/ESPN as a Basketball Commentator/Analyst
Jan 1992: Won Commentator/Analyst Cable ACE Award for NCAA Basketball broadcasts
June 1992: Diagnosed with terminal cancer
Nov 1992: Returned to ESPN calling color commentary during NIT pre-season
Mar 1993: Received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the first ESPY Awards ceremony. During acceptance speech, announced the formation of the V Foundation for Cancer Research (co-founded by ESPN).
Apr 1993: Died of metastatic cancer of unknown primary origin
1993: Inducted into Rutgers University’s Basketball Hall of Fame
1999: Inducted into Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Rutgers University
1999: Inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame
Although he had a varied career, Jim is most remembered for his work as a college basketball coach. He was a NCAA head coach for 19 seasons with a 346-210 record. During his tenure, he appeared in eight NCAA tournaments and won a National Championship with North Carolina State University in 1983. He was twice voted ACC Coach of the Year.