James Sheenan

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  • January 3, 2024
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Jim began his athletic career as a tackle on Mount Carmel Catholic High’s 1962 Catholic League Championship football team. That team went on to a 9-1 record, losing only to powerful Lebanon Catholic. Many people believe that the Ram offensive line of Petroski, Wolnock, Bach, Cesari and Sheenan was one of the best in Catholic High history; and sadly would be one of the last teams to represent the Blue and Gold.

Sheenan then enrolled at St. Vincent’s College, earning his B.A. in 9167 and his M.A. from Bucknell in 1970. He took a position at Mount Carmel Area High School as an English teacher in 1968. In 1970, Jim was convinced by Jerry Breslin to come on board as an assistant track coach concentrating in the weights – shot, discuss and javelin. Jim was reluctant since he had never thrown a track implement; however, he began to read books and watch film and basically talk to anyone who could help him. Little did he know at the time that he would go on to be one of the most respected weight coaches in the area over the next decade. He even became a “coaches’ coach” as he was asked to hold clinics on the weekends by other track coaches in the area.

His throwers over the years never lost a meet, scoring over 22 points out of a possible 27 in each meet, averaging over 25 points for the first 5 year period. Jim had the privilege of coaching a number of Dost. IV champions and 3 athletes – Lou Cole, Mike Revenis, and Barry Kent, who went on to bring home state medals.

In the fall of 1971, Jim expanded his coaching duties as a member of Jazz Diminick’s football staff. Sheenan was responsible for the offensive and defensive lines and also held “crow’s nest” or “eye in the sky” duties on game nights. During his tenure, Tornado teams went 95-19-1 and won 2 consecutive Eastern Conference Crowns in 1972 and 1973 and had a 25 game win streak. Rich Greco, Dave Williams, Joe Grey, Rich Ferri, Ed Shuda, Sam Scicchitano, Paul Szymanski, Joe Rogutski, Ralph Stellar, Walter Wywadis, Bob Burns, Dave Chuprinski, Jon Greco, Mike Revenis, Mike Bergamo, Greg Kent, Emmett Kent and Ed Cuff were some of his lineman who were honored as all-state or honorable mention all state players.

In 1980, Sheenan chose to change the direction of his own life and enrolled at the Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1983 with a J.D. degree. He worked as a law clerk to the Federal Judge in Harrisburg from 1983-1985 and became a partner, managing partner in the Harrisburg Law Firm for Goldberd, Katzman, and Shipman P.C. from 1985 to 1995. From 1995-1999, Jim served as the Chief Counsel to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education. Today, Jim has completed his journey from the “crow’s nest” to the “governor’s den” as General Counsel to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

Jim is married to his wife Jacqueline since 1967 and are parents of three children, Jason and Jonas, both neurosurgery residents at the University of Virginia and Jessica, a graduate of Shippensburg University. They are also grandparents of James Patrick Sheenan and Daniel Scully Sheenan.

Categories: 2000 Hall of Fame