Defensive Consultant, Coaches Learning Network
Jim Driscoll has over 40 years of coaching experience including five as a high school head coach and over 25 at the college level where he was a three-time defensive coordinator.
Driscoll has had the opportunity to play for and coach with several outstanding coaches. As a prep at Shanley High School (’60) in Fargo, N.D., he played for National High School Sports Hall of Fame coach Sid Cichy, who won 20 state champions in 30 seasons en route to a 231-38-3 record. As a junior, Driscoll started at defensive end and tight end for the undefeated state champions.
At North Dakota State University (‘64), he played for Darrell Mudra, a three-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year. Driscoll was a co-captain his senior season. One of his NDSU coaches was legendary line coach Carl “Buck” Nystrom.
He began his coaching career at St. James High School in Grand Forks, N.D., where he also taught math. While working on his master’s degree in P.E. and Education Research at the University of North Dakota he began his college career as a graduate assistant with the Fighting Sioux freshman team in 1968.
The following year he returned to NDSU where he coached from 1969-1976 under three outstanding head coaches, Ron Erhardt, Ev Kjelbertson and Jim Wacker. The Bison captured the NCAA Division II national champion in 1969 and had a 35 game unbeaten streak during that time (34-0-1). The Bison won bowl games in 1969 and 1970 and were North Central Conference champions in 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974, and 1976. They reached the semifinals in 1976.
From 1978-1985 he coached the defensive backs at Northern Michigan University where he helped shape one of the best defensive units of the era. The Wildcats reached the NCAA II playoffs in 1980, 1981, and 1982. In 1980 the Wildcats had the nation’s fifth ranked scoring and rushing defense, and was sixth overall in total defense.
In 1988 he was hired to develop and coach the inaugural University of Mary (Bismark, N.D.) football team. He directed the NAIA program until returning for his second stint as the defensive coordinator at Northern Michigan University from 1991-95.
He returned to the high school coaching ranks at Negaunee, Mich., in 1996 before becoming the head coach at Marquette, Mich., Senior High School from 1997-1998.
He returned to NMU as the defensive coordinator for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
Despite retiring after the 2000 season he has found ways to stay in coaching by working as a consultant for area high school and college teams.
He and his wife, Mary Jo, have two daughters, Kathy and Debra, and two sons, Steve and Tim, and 8 grandchildren. Tim is the current defensive coordinator for Michigan Tech University.
Articles by Jim Driscoll:
Force and Contain