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A native of Suffolk, Va., West served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 and spent 15 months in Korea. On a G.I. Bill, he entered the University of Virginia in 1955 and received his undergraduate degree in education from U.Va. in 1958, a master's degree a year later, and a doctorate in 1975.

West joined the U.Va. athletics department in the fall of 1959 as head cross country coach and first-year baseball coach. He assumed the head baseball coaching responsibilities for the 1962 season and was director of the service physical education program from 1961 to 1972. West coached the Cavalier baseball team from the 1962 through 1980. The 1972 team won the ACC championship and was the first Virginia baseball team to participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Coach West was appointed assistant athletic director in 1972 and became associate director of athletic programs in 1978. He later was named senior associate athletic director until his retirement in 1992. As an acquaintance once said, “He set the standard for loyalty to The University and its athletic department.”

Baseball uniform No. 24, worn by West during his 19 years as the Cavaliers' head coach, was retired by the Virginia athletics department. Jim West passed away on May 20, 2009.

Jim West

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