James M. Christiana
- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 12, 2024
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Just like so many of our inductees, Jim Christiana had to leave before he came back. He went as far as Toms River, New Jersey, where he is recognized as one of the state’s outstanding softball coaches. He was inducted into the Toms River Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He now comes back to the Lower Anthracite region where he will be inducted into the Ed Romance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Christiana was the head softball coach at Toms River South from 1981 to 1996 where he registered 247 wins, finishing in 1996 as the #2 ranked team in New Jersey and #37 nationally for the National Softball Coaches Association Athletic/Academic Award. His teams won the Ocean County Tournament in 1982, 1985, and 1990, and were finalists in 1981, 1987, and 1991. The Indians were the Shore Conference Class A South Champions in 1986 and 1982 and were 12-time qualifiers for the New Jersey Softball Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament. They were NJSIAA Scholar/ Athlete Team Award winners from 1989-1992. Jim was named the Softball Coach of the Year by Star Ledger, WOBM Radio in 1986, and Softball Coach of the Year by the Asbury Park Press, Times Observer, and WOBM Radio in 1982. In 1987, Christiana received the Franklin Life “Select Circle of National H.S. Coaches” Bronze Coaching Award.
Jim also won 70 games as the head girls’ basketball coach from 1989-1994. The maroon and white also won the NJSIAA Scholastic Team Academic Award from 1990-1992, and claimed the Shore Conference Class A South Championship in 1991. He was named the Ocean County “Coach of the Year” following the ’91 season.
Jim also served as a varsity assistant for boys basketball from 1977-89 and again from 1995-99. His team would win a total of 284 games during that span.
In addition to his coaching duties, Jim served as the athletic director at Toms River from 1990 to 2007, and was named the Ocean County “Athletic Director of the Year” in 2006-2007.
Jim is a 1968 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School, where he led the baseball team in RBI’s, stolen bases, and runs scored while hitting .391. He then matriculated at Lea College in Albert Lea, Minnesota where he played baseball for one year. He then received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Mansfield State College in 1972 and a Master in Educational Administration form Monmouth University in 1986 and a Post Master Degree in Athletic Administration from Kean University in 1989
Jim and his wife of 43 years, Leah make their home in Toms River, N.J. They are the parents of a daughter Jennifer Semanchick(Phil) of Toms River, and a son James(Lana) of Charleston, WV. They are also grandparents to Leah Mae-10, Madelyn Grace-8, Joren Michael-2, and Jemma Rose-4 months.