James played First Football, captained the First Basketball team and rowed with the Lightweight Four and the Lightweight Eight, winning two gold medals and two silver medals at Canadian Schoolboy championships from 1971-73. In his graduating year, he won the Province of Ontario Achievement Award in the Field of Amateur Sport.
For the past three decades, James has coached young athletes in the sport he loves—in fact, his career as a rowing coach began here at Ridley in 1988. Currently, he is a coach with the Women’s Crew at Yale University, where he has been developing champions for more than 20 years. And the results speak for themselves: his rowers boast four National Championships at the NCAA Regatta, five College Championships at the Head of the Charles, and three titles at the Women’s Henley Regatta in England.
James was selected as New England's Coaching Assistant of the Year in 2009 and 2016. In 2005, the senior Yale Heavy Weight Crew established a trophy in his name that is presented annually at the Yale-Harvard Regatta. But James recognizes that the most important victories cannot be measured by accolades alone. He served as Director of the Yale Community Rowing Program which, over five years, offered hundreds of at-risk, inner-city youth the opportunity to experience this life-changing sport.
Years later, James still looks back fondly on his time at Ridley, with its strict daily routines—“even going to Chapel twice a day,” he admits laughingly—because the school instilled in him a discipline that is central to the person he is today.
“Apart from my parents, I would like to acknowledge the following for their leadership and guidance while at Ridley: Carl Dorland, Jon Silver, John McIntyre, and Neil Campbell.”