Jim Ferguson, Jr., has distinguished himself as both an excellent basketball player as well as an excellent coach. In fact, he is the only person who played both on a 4A/5A Arizona State championship team (Sahuaro High School, 1970) and coached an Arizona state championship team (Santa Rita High School, 1999 and 2010).
Jim was born in Chicago and came to Tucson when his father was hired as Salpointe High School’s basketball coach. Jim started as the point guard on Sahuaro’ s basketball team from 1969 through 1971. He was known for his near perfect free-throw percentage, excellent ball-handling skills and floor leadership. In 1970 he led the basketball team to Sahuaro’ s first ever state championship in a varsity sport. That team was inducted into the Sahuaro Hall of Fame in 2009.
After graduating from Sahuaro , he played basketball for the University of San Diego and Seattle University. He then returned to Tucson and has coached high School basketball from 1977 to the present, including 20 years as head coach at Santa Rita High School where he coached basketball, subsequently coaching the Eagles to state championships in both 1999 and 2010. The 2010 championship was especially gratifying because his sons were members of the team.
Overall, Coach Ferguson’s teams have won over 370 games and he has been honored several times as Tucson Coach of the Year as well as the Arizona Coach of the Year. In 2011, Jim Ferguson was inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame. Jim is also the founder of the Dick McConnell Coach of the Year award for the Basketball Coach of the Year in Arizona. Former Sahuaro Legend Dick McConnell states that “Jim Ferguson is a gentleman, an outstanding player and a premier high school basketball coach.”