Jim Osborne came to Gallipolis as a graduate of Wittenberg University in 1969-70. Jim had served as assistant coach at Wittenberg and became the head basketball at Gallia Academy for the next 41 years. When Jim retired from coaching at Gallia Academy his overall record was 529 wins and 362 losses.
During his coaching career he won 11 SEOAL titles and finished second in league play nine times. Osborne’s Blue Devil cagers have finished in the SEOAL’s second division six times during the past 41 years. Under Osborne, GAHS has won 14 sectionals, two district tournament crowns, and appeared in the regionals twice. The Blue Devils have been district runner-up four times and a district semifinalist 21 times. He has been named SEOAL and district basketball coach of the year 12 times.
Besides coaching basketball, Osborne has spent 25 years as a tennis coach with over 200 wins, 11 years as a baseball coach, recording more than 100 wins, coached a Blue Devil golf team in the state golf tournament, and was an assistant coach of the track and field team. During his 42 years of teaching with 40 years teaching at GAHS, Osborne has taught physical education, health, general science and driver’s education. He was also an Adjunct Teacher at Rio Grande University.
Known around southern Ohio as “Coach Oz” or “The Wizard” Osborne has coached in the Ohio North-South, Ohio-Kentucky and Ohio-West Virginia All-Star games. Osborne has been a sought-after speaker on both basketball and his philosophy of life. A two-sport MVP (basketball and baseball) and an Athletic Hall of Fame member of both Geneva High School and Wittenberg University, he led his American Legion team (Ashtabula Rubber) to a state championship as a pitcher and Wittenberg University to a Division II regional title.
In 2003, he was recipient of the OHSAA’s Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity (SEI) Award. He also won the prestigious OHSBCA Paul Walker Award in 2009. He has received coaching longevity awards in both basketball and tennis. Osborne has served as president of the District 13 Basketball Coaches Association since 1988. Osborne is also a charter member of the GAHS Athletic Hall of Fame committee. Jim is also a member of the Hall of Fame at Gallia Academy and Ashtabula County Hall of Fame.
Osborne and his wife Jennifer reside in Gallipolis, Ohio. They have two grown children, Tige Osborne and Tia (Jason) Vasquez and three grandchildren, Caden, Keely and Reese.