Jim Roth Field Officially Named
Back in 1984, the Southern Columbia football team was starting to finally turn things around after two decades filled with a lot of pain and heartache. Winning was at a minimum for the better part of the first two decades of the team’s existence. A program that was established in 1963. A man by the name of Jim Roth took over the Tiger program, and from that point on there hasn’t been a more successful coach in the entire state of Pennsylvania or in the country for that matter. For that, Tiger Stadium’s playing field has now been officially named Jim Roth Field. “It’s definitely an honor that I appreciate. I want to make sure that all of the past players that played in the program know that they aren’t forgotten. Without those guys that came before, you don’t have the pride, tradition, and long term success,” Roth said. Looking at all of the high school football coaches across all 50 states in the USA, Coach Roth has won more games than any other coach over the span of the last 33 seasons.
As far as Pennsylvania is considered, Roth’s accomplishments stand above the rest in virtually every aspect. The Southern Columbia coach, along with his excellent staff including defensive coordinator Andy Mills who has been part of it since the beginning of Roth’s tenure, has won a state record of 7 state championships & 14 eastern championships. The District IV gold medal has been captured by the Tigers in 23 out of the last 25 years. “When you’re talking about a football program, there are so many parts that have to come together to make it work. As a head coach, you need to have assistant coaches that are willing to put in the time and be dedicated. I can’t ask for anything better than what I have had,” said the head coach. From 1994 to 2006, Southern Columbia made state championship game appearances in all but one year.
His team’s longest winning streak spanned from 1993 to 1995 when the black & gold won 32 consecutive games. The longest regular season winning streak currently is still in tact at 46 consecutive games dating back to 2011. “If this was going to happen with the naming of the field, I’d rather have it happen now then when I’m not around to see it. It’s an enjoyable time now to experience it coming off of a state championship season,” Roth said. His football teams have never lost more than two games in a row over the last 33 seasons. To put that into perspective, area teams such as Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Danville, Mount Carmel, and Shamokin all have had stretches of more than two losses in a row at some point since the start of last season alone. Roth’s now 386 wins to just 62 losses gives him a national record of the highest winning percentage, at over 86%, of any coach that has coached since 1980 in the United States.
He also sits 4th all-time in total coaching victories in Pennsylvania and is now exactly 70 victories from the late George Curry’s all-time state record. Maybe the most impressive stat of them all is the fact that he has never had a losing season in over three decades. Look around at some successful programs across the state like Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Bishop Guilfoyle, Farrell, Jeannette, Lancaster Catholic, Parkland, Rochester, Selinsgrove, & St. Joseph’s Prep. They’ve each had at least one losing season during the first half of this decade alone. Also, it must be taken into consideration that SCA doesn’t have the luxury that the private schools have around the state of bringing in recruits from other districts. That fact makes the accomplishments even more mind boggling. “As a coaching staff we kind of set the tone as to what we are doing. However, it is up to the players to put the effort in to keep the tradition rolling with how all of the past players have gotten us to the point that we are at now,” said Roth.
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