Legendary Brevard Junior College Coach Jim Oler Inducted into Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
By Steve Wilson // October 1, 2021
Oler posted 334 wins and 88 losses during his tenure, 1962 through 1978
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Legendary Brevard Junior College coach and athletic director Jim Oler has been inducted into the 2021 Class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
During Oler’s record-setting coaching career at Brevard Junior College, later Brevard Community College and now Eastern Florida State College, he posted 334 wins and 88 losses during his tenure, 1962 through 1978.
“Jim was a big part of the building of this program,” Brevard Community College Athletic Director Bob Anderson told the Orlando Sentinel in 1989.
“He deserves the credit for the foundation and the credit for this entire program.”
During his career at BCC, Oler won two Florida Junior College Championships, a No. 1 National Ranking 1970, 11 Suncoast Conference Championships, was FCCAA Coach of the Year 1967 and 1973 and coached seven junior college All-Americans.
He also taught and coached at Gulf Coast Community College from 1981 to 1989 where his teams excelled and he received many coaching awards.
In 1967, Oler’s Titan team went 28-0, and in 1967 and in 1973, his teams were NJCCA Regional Champions and in 1970 they were ranked number one in the Junior College national rankings.
Longtime Astronaut coach Kirk Stewart took over from Oler and led the Titans to four conference titles in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1983, and a back-to-back state championships in 1979 and 1980, during his tenure from 1978 to 1985.
Don Smith, a 2020 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee, took over in 1985 and guided the Titans to a state title in 1987 and a conference championship in 1989 – and finished with 288 wins,
“Jimmy was like the godfather of junior college basketball and he ruled,” Stewart told the Orlando Sentinel during an interview in 1989.
Already a Hall of Famer
Oler was also a great player in high school and college.
After excelling as a four-year letter winner in basketball for the Economy Cardinals in high school, where he averaged 25.5 points per game his senior year and was the career scoring leader with 1,260 points, Oler was a four-year starter at Florida State University from 1952 to 1956. He was inducted into the Florida State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.
Oler died after he suffered a heart attack in 1989 at the age of 55, leaving a one-of-a-kind legacy in Brevard County.