SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

August 25, 2010

Gentleman Jim

League titles, great competition, hundreds of college players — Jim O'Leary has done it all at St. John's Prep

(Continued)

O'Leary is also grateful to Ann Edgerton and Jameson Pelkey for their work in the athletic office.

"We take great pride in getting our priorities right with kids. Getting into college has always been No. 1," said O'Leary. "Part of the responsibility when I send them out the door is you can't let this program down. The guys before you set the table for you, and you want to set the table for the next group; it's like a big brother/little brother relationship that way."

Lasting legacy

St. John's Prep has only had three head coaches since 1962, and there's no sign that number will change to four anytime soon.

O'Leary has been the pillar of stability at the Prep and he's thankful that Glatz, who stepped down to watch his sons play college football in '84, saw him as the right man for the job.

"I've been blessed with some great kids. I had the opportunity to coach my son (Michael) and not everybody can enjoy that at this level," O'Leary recalled. "I've been blessed with some great assistants, too.

"Having coached in college, this is as close to college coaching as there is without having to go out on the recruiting trail. The kids are always good academically, and it's one of those jobs that doesn't come open very often."

As the 2010 Eagles reported for the preseason earlier this week — and depart for training at Camp Androscoggin in Maine — there's a new generation of young men eager to learn a few life lessons from O'Leary and his staff. They'll work hard, be ready for life when they graduate and, with some good fortune, they'll win.

"I keep coming back and you know what? They haven't changed the locks yet," O'Leary quipped.

JIM O'LEARY — BY THE NUMBERS

178: Wins, most among active North Shore coaches and most all-time at the Prep

.656: All-time winning percentage

7: Catholic Conference championships

4: Super Bowl appearances

20: Winning seasons

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