St. Paul's Jim Tate wins his 100th state title


St. Paul’s Episcopal School head girls and boys track and cross country coach Jim Tate reached a milestone with his 100th career state title as the Saints ran away with an eighth straight AHSAA indoor track and field championship at the Birmingham CrossPlex, this time taking home the Class 4A-5A title.

Jim Tate came to St. Paul’s in 1978 as the boys varsity basketball coach. He began the school’s cross-country and track program for boys following nine years of head coaching and athletic administration from schools in South Carolina and Georgia. Raised in Mobile, he graduated from University Military School and received his bachelor’s degree from The Citadel in 1963 followed by his master’s degree a year later from the University of Alabama.

Since 1983, Coach Jim Tate’s boys and girls teams have claimed 100 separate team state championships in track and cross-country combined and another 51 state runner-up finishes. His girls cross-country teams hold the current national record for the longest consecutive state championship streak in the nation at 16 (1983-1998). Some 60 of his former high school track program athletes have competed in either track and/or cross country at the collegiate level, with most of those at Division I institutions.

Coach Tate holds Level II track certification in endurance training and was selected as the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association’s (NFICA) Boys Cross-Country “Coach of the Year” in 1998. He was inducted into the Christ Church Episcopal School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and also into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in April of 2008. In 2010, the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) selected Coach Tate as the National High School Girls Track & Field Coach of the Year. In October 2010, St. Paul’s dedicated the “Jim Tate Track & Cross-Country Field House” at the track complex of the school; a $400K facility to serve as home base for the school’s track and cross-country program. In March, 2011 he was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s (AHSAA) Athletic Hall of Fame and that summer was selected as the National High School Girls Track & Field “Coach of the Year” by USA Track & Field (USATF)/Gill Athletics. In June 2013, Jim was inducted into the NFHS’ National High School Hall of Fame. In 2016 for the state of Alabama 2016 Track & Field Season, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) selected Coach Tate as the Girls Coach of the Year.