Growing up near Branford Point, as a youngster you would find Jim either hanging out at the Point or on a ball field. The love of the ocean and athletics would define him in his path towards an education and career.
Jim graduated in 1972 from BHS earning seven varsity letters three in football and four in baseball. He played one year of basketball. He played under coaches Joe Farina (Football, HOF) and Bob Ellis (Baseball). Over the three years as a quarterback, he set several school records: Most career TD passes, 33, most TD passes in a season, 14, most career passing yards 3,550, most rushing yards in a season by a QB, 692 yards. He led the Hornets to a 7-1-2 season his senior year, tied for second in the Housatonic League. He was named the Outstanding Player in the annual Turkey Bowl against East Haven, rushing for 119 yards on 18 carries, scoring two touchdowns and throwing two touchdown passes in a convincing 35-14 win. He was selected for the Connecticut All Star Nutmeg Bowl as a QB representing the East Squad. His East teammates elected him as a captain as well as earning the starting role for the Nutmeg Bowl. Jim was honored to receive the “The Stu Clancy Award” for the 1971 football season. His senior teammates included HOF Ron Washington and HOF Bob Ceccolini.
Under Coach Bob Ellis, Jim was switched from shortstop to catcher his sophomore year and remained there for the next three years. He was named Defensive Player of the year his junior year. His career batting average was .365, hitting twelve homeruns and being named Co-Captain his senior year.
Goal oriented and laser focused on attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Jim decided to attend St. Thomas More Prep in Colchester. While at St. Thomas More he focused on raising his academic standards while playing football and baseball. He was awarded the MVP for baseball batting .410.
At the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, he lettered in baseball his freshman year playing centerfield and batting .302 playing for Coach Bill Polian (NFL Hall of Famer). In Football Jim played under Coach George Paterno. He is the winningest QB in Academy history with a record of 15-3. He was selected as a captain his senior year leading his team to a record of 8-1 and ranked 5th Nationally in Division III. He set and tied several academy records: Most passing yards in a game – 276. Most completions in a game – 18. Most passing attempts in a game – 36. Most TD passes in a game – 3. He was selected as an ECAC player of the week for his performance against Seton Hall in a 48-13 victory, passing for over 250 yards and three touchdown passes.
He was inducted into the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association awarded Jim the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award in 2022 for his contributions to the industry.
After graduating from the USMMA, he worked in corporate transportation with large conglomerates like Dupont, BASF and Louis Dreyfus managing shipments by ocean vessels, inland tug and barges, rail, and truck. Sailing on merchant vessels and corporate travel took him to over 36 countries.
Jim completed Executive Programs at Wharton School of Business and the University of Tennessee. He has served on several Industry Association boards including National Waterways Council (Director) and The Fertilizer Institute Transportation Council (President).
In 1990, Jim launched ShipNet Services to provide international transportation for missionaries traveling to Eastern Bloc countries. He assisted in sending 350 families overseas for ministry work. He continues to work in a semi-retirement role consulting with clients on transportation and supply chain operations.
He completed 15 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve duty as an officer sailing on Naval Reserve vessels.
He has been a certified sports official for twenty years and is a member of the National Sports Officials Association.
He is married to his high school sweetheart Dana Hill for 44 years and they have three children and three grandsons.