Jim Jefferson: Westminster School

Jim Jefferson

Jim Jefferson kept Westminster's baseball tradition alive during his tenure with the Wildcats. The highly successful coach was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2008.

Jefferson took over at Westminster in 1987 after longtime coach Harry Lloyd (also a member of the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame) retired. Jefferson led the baseball program until he retired in 2011. Including the 12 seasons where he led Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.), Jefferson finished with a career coaching mark of 404-181 when he stepped away in 2011. He led Montgomery Bell to a state championship in 1978.

The longtime coach led Westminster to four appearances in the state semifinals in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009. He was named the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2000.

"He's been involved in the program for a long time," former Westminster athletic director Rusty Hudson told the Buckhead Patch. "He's in the Georgia Dugout Hall of Fame. That’s an elite group and that speaks for itself. He's an outstanding baseball person."

He moved to South Florida and was an assistant baseball coach for a pair of private schools in Naples, Fla. (Seacrest Country Day) and St. John Neumann since retiring from Westminster. In 2013 when Community School couldn't find a coach, Jefferson filled in and led the program to a 17-8 record, improving his career mark to 421-189.

Jefferson was the head wrestling coach and assistant baseball coach at Montgomery Bell, helping the program to a state runner-up finish in 1972. While in Tennessee, Jefferson served as a scout for the New York Yankees.

He also did some scouting for the Cleveland Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jefferson was also was an assistant football coach at Montgomery Bell and Westminster for a combined 25 seasons.

In high school, Jefferson played under the late Julian Mock (also a Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame member) at Murphy before his mother died and he moved to the Nashville, Tenn. area where he graduated from high school.

Jefferson went to Peabody College, then graduated from Vanderbilt. He later earned his Masters degree from Georgia State.

While Jefferson had success at every stop, his time at Westminster was some of his best years.

"It was a pleasure to teach and coach at Westminster for so many years," Jefferson told the Buckhead Patch. "I am proud to have taken the team to the state playoffs every season, with the exception of my very first year. I greatly enjoyed the relationships that I formed with students, players and parents over the years." 

Some information in this article was used from the Buckhead Patch newspaper.