2019 NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame Preview-James Wolfe

Author: Alberto Cannistraci, Intern

JAMES WOLFE, Administrator

James “Jim” Wolfe has been a highly respected administrator in Section IX for more than five decades. He served NYSPHSAA the past 29 years as a member of its Executive Committee. Wolfe began his career in 1962 as a teacher and assistant track and field coach at Washingtonville School District (Section IX).  He then moved on to Goshen School District where he continued to coach and teach until 1985 when he was named the Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, a position he held until his retirement in 1995. Wolfe has been described by colleagues in Section IX as a mentor, true teacher, and someone who has always preached “make your decisions for what’s best for the kids”.  In addition to coaching track, football, and wrestling during his career, he was a football official for 31 seasons, four of which concluded with being named to the officiating crew for the State Finals at the Carrier Dome.  Wolfe was inducted into the Goshen High School Football Hall of Fame in 1992, honored by NYS Athletic Administrators Association with the Distinguished Service Award in 2013 and presented the Section IX Dr. William Moran Service Award in 2017.  A graduate of Goshen High School in 1958, Jim earned a bachelor’s at SUNY Brockport and a master’s at East Stroudsburg University.  Jim and his wife Joan currently reside in Middletown and Jim is still active with Section IX athletics.


“Wow!  It certainly is the pinnacle of my professional career.  It was quite a surprise when Dr. Zayas informed me after our April Section IX meeting” said Wolfe.  “Quite frankly, I just plain cried.  However, it fortifies what has been my long-time philosophy: surround yourself with good people, and good things will happen. By good people I mean, those like Dr. Bill Moran, Bob Thabet, Greg Ransom, Jim Osborne, and, my longtime partner on the Executive Committee, my friend Robbie Greene.  Also, my fellow members of the Section IX Council. And, the members of the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee.”


Being around athletics for a large majority of his life, there are many memories Wolfe cherishes, some include “The joy of seeing a kid finally mastering a skill that I was trying to teach. A pole vaulter’s first successful attempt at a height never cleared before (and then go on to compete in the state meet). I used to coach modified football. To watch a group of kids go from learning to put their helmets on right, to going out on the field by themselves and run a properly executed play, always had me in tears on the sidelines.”


One thing for certain that has driven Wolfe is the competition athletics brings out “It is such gratification to watch kids on the field, on the track, on the mat, on the floor competing against each other, and then shaking hands and/or hugging when it’s all over. Those who are not involved in athletic competition are missing a beautiful part of life.”


The Class of 2019 will be inducted into the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 31st as part of the 96th annual Central Committee Meeting at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona.