Before Jim became Executive Director of Softball Alberta in 1988, he had an extensive playing career. Most notably as a member of Team Canada, Jim was on the Pan Am Gold medal winning team in 1983 and 1987 and in 1984 he took home a Silver medal from the World Softball Championships. His time with Team Canada and his incredible playing career led to two Softball Hall of Fame inductions: in 2001 as an Athlete and in 1997 as a member of the 1983 Team Canada Pan Am Championship team. He is also a Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame member as part of the Saskatoon Rempel Brothers Senior Men’s team, who were the 1987 Senior Men’s Canadian Champions.
Jim remained Executive Director of Softball Alberta until 1990, when he moved back to Saskatchewan. While he was there, he was on the Softball Saskatchewan Board of Directors from 1991-1993. He then returned to Alberta in 1995 and resumed the Executive Director role for Softball Alberta until 2005. Jim added several administrative roles to his portfolio: President of Leduc Minor Softball (1998-2008), President of Capital City Men’s Fastball (4 years), Softball Canada LTAD Committee (2 years), Alberta Parks & Rec LTAD & CS4L Committee (2 years), volunteer organizer for 3 Canadian Championships in Edmonton, Co-Chair for Peewee Westerns in 2004 as well as a curriculum provider in the Level III softball coach manuals. He also was an NCCP Level III Softball Master Coach Evaluator for Alberta.
Jim began the Rollyview Rockets Mite Boys team out of Rollyview and after one year it shifted to the Leduc 747’s program. At the peak of the 747’s, Leduc had 4 boy’s teams at different levels, ranging from Squirt to Midget. Part of this was due to Jim’s organization of pitching clinics around the hockey season to ensure boys could participate. In Jim’s time coaching boy’s softball in the 747’s program, the teams had many successes, including 4 Western Championship Gold medals (Peewee & Bantam). Jim’s influence on boy’s softball was not only in the Leduc area, but province wide. He worked with other boy’s programs throughout the province in Grande Prairie, Calahoo, High Park and Lloydminster to ensure a consistent core of teams were competing each year. Seeing members of those boy’s teams still involved with the game today, whether it be playing, coaching or instructing skills clinics, makes Jim proud.
Not only was Jim involved with coaching boy’s softball at the local level, he also was a Manager of the 1989 and 2005 Team Alberta Men’s Softball for the Canada Summer Games. Later on, he became part of the Junior Men’s National Team program as Assistant Coach in 2008 and 2012 and Head Coach in 2014. One of Jim’s proudest coaching moments was having 2 Leduc athletes make the final 30 players for the Junior National Team in 2008 – Michael Brand and son, Cory Jones. Cory ended up making the final team and both Jones’ were part of the Silver medal finish at the Junior Men’s World Championships in Whitehorse, Yukon. Even though he’s no longer in a coaching or administrative softball role, you’ll still find Jim at the diamonds supporting Cory on the Senior Men’s National Team.
Inducted as a Sport Builder in 2023.