Legendary Brevard Junior College Coach Jim Oler Inducted into Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
By Steve Wilson // April 26, 2022
Oler posted 334 wins and 88 losses during his tenure, 1962 through 1978
ABOVE VIDEO: 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.<
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.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE TO SEE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced the induction of both the 2020 and 2021 classes will take place on Friday, May 13 at the Cocoa Beach Country Club. The induction of both classes were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festivities include a Meet and Greet with the area’s sports royalty beginning at 6 p.m., and the dinner and induction proceeding will start at 6:45 p.m. and includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event will also include the Brevard County High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, which will be held Friday, May 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., also at the Cocoa Beach Country Club, to kick off morning and evening events honoring the area’s outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and sports celebrities.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner will be held on the evening of May 13, with a Meet and Greet at 6 p.m. and dinner and program at 7 p.m. The Meet and Greet will include an opportunity to talk with the area’s sports royalty, followed by dinner and the induction proceeding, which includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
During the Breakfast of Champions, more than 40 awards will be presented to the best of the best student-athletes.
Businesses and individuals looking to support these outstanding youth and prep athletes can sponsor an award for $500 and includes recognition during the awards event and in the program.
As a sponsor, an invitation will be extended to you and up to four guests to join the festivities for the breakfast. You’ll be seated with the recipient of your award and their family, which is a great chance to meet these talented athletes and get to know them on a personal level. For information about the Brevard County Breakfast of Champions call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com.
Both the Breakfast of Champions and the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame events will be streamed live on Space Coast Daily TV.
The 2020–2021 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the Brevard County High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, are sponsored by Health First, Erdman Automotive, All Points, Clear Choice Health Care, Savings Safari, Friday Night Locker Room and Rock Paper Simple.
To make a reservation for the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
INDUCTEES SELECTED IN FOUR CATEGORIES
Dozens of nominees were considered for the 2020 and 2021 classes in several categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Nominees are chosen in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports. Special honorary recognition is also bestowed upon individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021:
■ PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Amber Torrealba, Skimboarding; Randy Pobst, Auto racing
■ COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lynisha Nelson, Basketball; Bryan Cook, Baseball; Steve Freeman, Soccer
■ PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Julie Wollrath, Cross Country; Kaira Simmons, Track & Field; Cameron Harris, Jr., Football
■ AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Alli Penovich, Free Diving
■ COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lee Mace, Football; Jim Oler, Basketball
■ SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEE: Klaus Stafe
■ SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEE: Capt. Eric Ciocher
■ SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Charles Clemente
■ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Larry Garrison
■ SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Rusty Buchanan
■ CHALLENGER AWARD INDUCTEE: Jordan Episcopo
■ TEAM OF THE YEAR: Astronaut High School Bowling
■ LEGACY CHAMPIONS: Merritt Island Baseball, 1999-2000
■ SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Fred Gay
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2021 INDUCTEES PROFILES
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2020
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jamel Dean, Football; Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Wrestling; Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Football; Mark Lake, Skateboarding; Juwaan Taylor, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Derek Hamm, Football; Paulette King, Basketball; Dylan Lewis, Soccer; Melanie Murphy, Softball
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lexy Denaburg, Volleyball; Apryl Bigham Nickson, Swimming; Andi Sellers, Soccer
• AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Peter Blount, Track & Field; Karina Villegas, Sled Hockey; Caylor Williams, Wrestling
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Sean Ballard, Wrestling; Doug Butler, Cross Country and Track; Aubin Goporo, Basketball; Gerald Hodgin, Football; Bill Sinclair, Softball; Don Smith, Basketball
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Loren McClanahan
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Clint Hurdle
• SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEES: Ted Ruta
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Steve Vaughn
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Judge A.B. Majeed
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Congressman Bill Posey
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: Satellite High Cross Country
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2020 INDUCTEES PROFILES
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and has so far inducted more than 200 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Partner Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, Sports Editor Juan Rodriguez, Social Media Director Matt O’Hern, Assistant Editor Jordan Rocco, Digital Producers Ron Lighthall, Gavin Keith and Michael Malone, Production Director Brian Dillon, Sports Broadcaster Daryl Durand and Amateur Athletic Union President Rusty Buchanan.
The main athletic building on the Melbourne Campus hosts the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, as portraits of the Hall of Famers are displayed on the wall in the building’s main hallway that runs parallel to the gym and outside the athletic department offices.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame. Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and has so far inducted more than 200 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.