Perkins Girls Golf Coaching Legend Calls It Quits 

PHS Coach Alice James Started The Girls Golf Team
Alice James, right, with Jacqueline Visci

After 19 years as coach of the Perkins High School girls golf team, Alice James is calling it quits.

“I’ve accomplished all my goals,” Coach James said. “I won a state championship, my numbers were good. The time is right.”

Coach James, who started the girls golf program at Perkins High School, finishes her coaching career with an impressive 173-61 record over the past two decades. In her 19 seasons, she had losing records in a mere two seasons – 2001, her first season, and 2015.

She finished the 2018 campaign with an 8-4 record. In her final season she had 11 girls on the team, including a few who had never played before. For her, sharing the game and teaching the new girls how to play matters most.

“I just love the sport,” Coach James says. “I taught a lot of girls how to play golf.”


Highlights from her Perkins coaching career include the 2012 State Champion team, member of the State Coaches Executive Committee for nine years, Madison Mullins winning the individual state championship in 2012, and 10 years of District qualifying teams. She also was named to the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.

Not only has she shared her golfing experience with girls, Coach James also has lent her support and guidance to the boys golf team – and to Coach Tim Zapadka. As a first-time coach himself, Coach Zapadka went to her with questions and ideas, and says Coach James was an invaluable resource.

“I always valued her input because Coach James is a big picture thinker and is able to think about the entire program and not just a few individuals,” Coach Zapadka said. “The success Coach James has had with the girls program just lends credibility to her ability to coach and to motivate players to want to get better....The girls golf program owes her a giant ‘Thanks’ for getting it to where it is today.”

In retirement, Coach James says she’ll continue to promote the game to young girls. She expects to work with grade school and junior high girls to groom them for the high school program. She also says she’ll be available if her successor needs help.

Her successor has not yet been hired, said Perkins High School Athletic Director Matt Smith. Filling Coach James’ golf shoes will be a difficult task, he said.


“Coach James will be impossible to replace,” Mr. Smith said. “She started the program and built it from nothing. She has taught our girls to be amazing golfers and wonderful young women.  She will forever be remembered as the founder of Girls Golf in Perkins."

Coach James certainly is no stranger to the links. She started playing golf at the age of 14. Her grandfather, Bill Gordon, a Scottish immigrant, was the first professional golfer at Plum Brook Country Club.

“It’s in my blood,” Coach James said.

Meanwhile, expect to see Coach James around Perkins Schools. By day, she is a counselor at Meadowlawn Intermediate School and has no current plans to retire from that position, she said.



Posted by j_stacklin On 20 March, 2019 at 10:49 AM