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James R. France

You will find Jim France’s name almost everywhere at Manchester High School – the principal’s office, football office, football stadium, and the hall of fame – primarily because of his love for kids, especially those who play football. He has parlayed that love, his organizational ability and long hours of hard work into one of the most successful coaching careers in the Greater Akron area. France, who recently entered his 25th year at Manchester, is the school’s winningest football coach with a record of 193 wins, 53 losses and 3 ties. Since 1989 the Panthers have been almost unbeatable, winning 67 of 70 regular season games, making the Ohio Division IV playoffs six years (1989 & 1991 thru ’95). France has had four 10-0 seasons in that span. For his efforts, Jim has earned coach of the year honors in the Suburban League (1974), the All-Ohio League (1976 and ’84), the PAC-7 (1990, ’91, ’92, ’94 and ’95) and in Summit County (1989 & 1992). One of his crowning achievements came in 1990 as recipient of the Akron Beacon Journal’s Clem Caraboolad Coach of the Year Award, which annually goes to someone who touches and changes lives.

Inducted 1996 | Coach