St. Paul’s Jim Tate Inducted Into NFHS Hall Of Fame
DENVER – St. Paul’s Episcopal School track coach Jim Tate was one of 13 individuals inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame here Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to close out the 94th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
“Did I envision becoming a high school coach? Absolutely!” said Tate, who has served as the track and cross country coach at St. Paul’s. “I didn’t envision the successes we have had and I certainly didn’t envision this honor.
“Every coach will tell you they didn’t get into coaching to win state and regional championships but to teach the kids and hopefully make an impact on them and help them become the best they could be in every aspect of their lives.”
Tate becomes the third inductee from the AHSAA’s ranks in the last three years. Pat Sullivan was inducted as an athlete in 2012 and former AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn as an administrator in 2011. Tate’s induction brings the number of Alabamians inducted to 10. Others enshrined include former Executive Directors Herman L. “ Bubba” Scott and Cliff Harper; officials Dan Gaylord and Sam Short; athlete Bart Starr; and coaches Glenn Daniel and Mickey “Guy” O’Brien.
Tate, who served as an officer and fighter pilot in the Viet Nam War, has led St. Paul’s to 95 high school state championships and two junior high state titles while coaching boys and girls outdoor track, indoor track and cross country for the last 35 years. In addition, St. Paul’s athletes have won eight girls’ individual state heptathlon titles, including the last seven in a row. Two St. Paul’s student-athletes won junior high heptathlon championships, an event which has been discontinued. The 97 total state championships is a state record for one coach.
His teams also won state championships in 2012 and 2013 in girls’ indoor track and outdoor track. His boys’ teams won both tiles in 2012 as well. St. Paul’s holds the national record with 16 consecutive state championships in girls cross country from 1983-98. The boys have twice won three state cross country crowns in a row (1984-86 and 2005-07).
The Saints girls have won the last four indoor track championships (2006, 2007, 2012 and 2013), also won seven in a row from 1994-2000 and five in a row from 1985-1989. The boys team captured five consecutive indoor titles (1987-91) and another three in a row (1994-96).
The outdoor success has also been notable with 23 girls’ state championships, 15 boys’ high school titles and one junior high crown. The girls have won the last eight Class 5A state outdoor crowns and another nine in a row from 1989-1997. The boys won five consecutive Class 3A outdoor championships from 1987-91 and three in a row from 1994-96.
“We are happy for Jim Tate and extremely proud of his many accomplishments," said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. "More important are the many young men and young women he has helped mold into outstanding adults through his dedication and service. “He is already a member in our (AHSAA) Sports Hall of Fame. We thank him for his many years of service, first as an outstanding member of our military and later through his teaching and coaching.”
Tate was joined in the Class of 2013 by 90-year old Ohio track sensation Harrison Dillard, who grew up in Cleveland but has deep roots in Alabama. His parents grew up in Bullock County but moved to Cleveland in 1921. Dillard was born in 1923 in Ohio and went on to star at the same high school (Cleveland East Technical) attended by another Alabamian, Jesse Owens. Dillard won two Gold Medals at both the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games, winning in the 100-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay twice. He was also an Ohio state champion in the 120- and 220-yard hurdles.
Others inducted Thursday night were former Washington Redskins’ all-pro quarterback Joe Theismann, current Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chauncey Billups, basketball and volleyball standout Kristin Folkl Kaburakis, Connecticut prep swimming coach Ed Ashton, Indiana high school track coach Chuck Koeppen, New Hampshire prep football coach Chuck Lenahan, New York lacrosse coach Mike Messere, Kentucky basketball official Jerry Kimmel, Illinois soccer official Haig Nighohossian, former Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Executive Director Ronnie Carter, and Texas music director Richard Floyd, this year’s honoree in the Performing Arts category.