Photo: Jim Bogle (pictured at center) speaks to members of the 2019 Coosa Christian volleyball team following a summer workout earlier this week. Bogle also will coach the school’s boys basketball and boys and girls track and field teams. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthyPublisher/Editor
A veteran local high school educator and coach has made his way to the backwaters of Wills Creek.
Jim Bogle, who previously coached at Etowah and Gaston, recently was named varsity volleyball, boys basketball and track and field head coach at Coosa Christian in Gadsden.
Bogle comes to the Conquerors from Etowah High, where was the school’s head volleyball coach from 2012-18, assistant track and field coach (working mostly with the sprinters and jumpers from 2014-19 and assistant girls basketball from 2012-2018 as well as the interim girls head basketball coach for three-fourths of this past season. He also spent three years as the men’s assistant basketball coach at Snead State under head coach Rodney Hampton.
Bogle, who resigned his coaching positions from Attalla City Schools on May 17 and accepted the Coosa positions the following day, will continue to teach P.E. at Attalla Elementary School.
The wheels were set in motion earlier this month when Coosa Christian Principal Amanda Justice ran into Bogle at the Coosa Valley YMCA, where he is youth summer day camp director and lifeguard trainer and supervisor.
“She let me know that she might have a few [coaching] positions open when I decide to retire, and I asked what they were. When she said volleyball, basketball and track, I gave it some serious thought.”
Although acknowledging that he had evolved and adjusted as a coach over the past 26 years, one thing that has not changed in Bogle’s coaching philosophy is fundamentals and attention to detail.
“I want these kids to trust their training and understand that doing the little things allows the big things to fall into place. That’s the kind of discipline we’re working towards, rather than expecting everybody to act perfectly. But if someone doesn’t work hard and I can’t trust them, they might have the green light to do certain things.”
Bogle pointed out that the school’s volleyball and boys basketball programs have been competitive over the past several years along with solid numbers. The 2016-17 boys basketball team went 23-5 and qualified for the Northeast Regional Tournament for the first time in school history.
Bogle spoke well of rising junior guard Evan Delp, who averaged 21.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals last season. Delp is also a standout for the school’s football and track teams and attended Bogle’s lifeguard class at the YMCA.
“Evan’s a very hard-working kid who wants to be good at whatever he does. And he’s a heck of a teammate, which is what really impressed me.”
Prior to his stint in Attalla, Bogle was head volleyball boys basketball and track and field coach at Gaston from 1998 to 2008. He guided the school’s 2008 volleyball team to a 46-5 record and the Class 1A state championship. In his 11 years with GHS volleyball, Bogle posted a 358-167 record, won seven Etowah County Schools tournament championships and qualified for four straight Elite Eight state tournaments.
“The year we won [the state title], Southside beat us twice and we beat them four times,” Bogle poined out. “So, it wasn’t like we just beat small schools that season.”
When asked if he would share his faith in an open manner in a private Christian school setting, Bogle noted that he has been doing as much for the past 34 years.
“I had a buddy a few years ago who was leaving education to be a youth minister, and I told him that he already was [a youth minister]. All of the kids in his church group already knew Jesus, while for some of students in his classroom, he might be the only sign of Jesus that they’d see. We’ve been using scriptures since 1985 when I started [teaching and coaching] at Jacksonville, so I don’t think it will be any different [at Coosa Christian].”
Justice said that the school community was excited about Bogle’s arrival on campus.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Jim decided to join us, and he’s very much appreciated here. He’s focused on a child as an individual and he wants that child to grow athletically and spiritually as well, and that’s what we’re all about. I think we’ve got a gem in Jim.”