To say that Jim Coons has contributed to the successful evolution of the Ridley athletic program is an understatement. As a student, he played First Hockey, and led tennis and squash teams to several Little Big Four Championship victories in the mid 1950s. He went on to represent the University of Western Ontario as captain of the squash and tennis teams, earning a bronze W and winning the 1958 Canadian Junior Squash Championship. He has played for Canada in the Lapham Cup (along with his three sons) and represented the Canadian Jesters on team tours to the United States, Britain and South Africa. As a coach and as a player, he has remained an enthusiastic steward of the sport of squash. In fact, he recently committed funds to ensure that the legacy of Ridley First Squash will be maintained with new team plaques in the Iggulden gym. But his influence has been felt on a much larger, less measureable scale since 1978, when he recommended to then Headmaster Richard Bradley that a young man named Sandy Peters would be a good fit to follow Jack Aylott. For generations of Ridleians, the rest is history. Jim died at age 81 in Hamilton, Ontario on April 19, 2019.
“Winning or losing developed leadership, self-confidence and the desire to never give up, but to continue to fight for beliefs, goals and dreams. Even more rewarding was to return to society more than was received.”