Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 12, 2012

Man with utensils identified

The History Center of Traverse City

---- — People in the greater Traverse City area identified Jim Ooley as the man pictured in the History Center of Traverse City archive photo in the March 5 Community section.

Dave Kipley, of Traverse City, brought in his copy of the 1966 Traverse City High School Pines yearbook that features the same photo of Ooley digging into a salad with a giant fork. The yearbook caption noted that "His Majesty, Coach Jim Ooley, digs in after being chosen Mummer King of the Cherry Festival."

Kipley said the photo was taken at Shields Restaurant in Traverse City, where he worked as a bus boy during his school years.

Coach Jim Ooley led Traverse City to three state championships in his 25 years as head football coach: 1978, 1985 and 1988. His November 2005 obituary in the Record-Eagle noted that the legendary coach "helped put Traverse City football on the map, first as an assistant under Bob Bacon and then as head coach." Ooley finished with a 179-60-4 record.

Ooley had 21 winning football season. He also helped establish the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association, the high school playoff season and the all-star football game. Ooley also helped launch the Century Club to keep past and present Traverse City football players and teams connected.

Ooley taught wood shop, biology and computer applications at Traverse Central High School.

History Center archive photos that appear in the Community section can be found online at