In 1974, Jim was hired as an assistant professor of health education, assistant football coach, and head wrestling coach at Plymouth State. Jim was a demanding and creative teacher and respected coach whose wrestling squads tallied over one hundred dual meet victories during his tenure. In 1981, Jim stepped in as head football coach, setting a positive tone for a struggling team while posting a winning season.
Jim earned his doctorate in education from Boston University in 1986. He went on to teach and coach wrestling at Moorhead State University (MN). In 1988, he moved to Ithaca College (NY), where he spent the remainder of his career teaching health education and supervising student teachers.