Jim Funicello

Inducted in 2000

A native of Ballston Spa, New York, Jim was a three-sport athlete in high school. At St. Lawrence University from 1954 to 1958, he played freshman baseball, football and basketball.

Drafted by the Kansas City Athletics, his pro ball career was cut short by an injury, and Jim headed back to Upstate New York to coach cross-country and golf at Lowville High School. A year later, he took the head coaching reins at Lowville’s fledgling swim program.

In 1966, Liverpool High School started a swim program and then AD Luke La Porta hired Jim as coach. What a program it became, and what a coach he was!

For seventeen years Liverpool swimmers ran up a record of 220 wins and 5 losses, with nine different teams ranked number one in the state. He had a streak of 113 wins in a row, another of 15 Section III titles. In seventeen years, he never lost a home swim meet. Jim is the Central Team Regional Director for the Empire State Games.

Away from school, Jim founded the Liverpool Jets Swim Club and the Bayberry Swim Club, feeder programs that sent many talented on to Liverpool High School.

From 1979 to 1993, Jim served as Athletic Director at Liverpool High School. He’s been named National Swim Coach of the Year (1979), received the Blind Men & Criers – John Arcaro Award (1980) and was inducted into the Liverpool High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Among Jim’s swimmers were 21 All-Americans, including Don Langenmayr, Mike Lewandowski, and Scott Henry. Jim coached fifty New York State Champions.