Jim Kays


I Nominate James L. Kays, USMA Class of 1962 to the Army Sports Hall of Fame. Jim gave 26 years to Army 150 / Lightweight Football. As a Cadet, Officer Coach and later as Officer Representative, Jim devoted himself to the Program..

Jim’s commitment to 150 Football began in 1958 as a Plebe Quarterback. Later, as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics (1969 – 1971), Jim was an Army 150 assistant coach. In 1970, Jim was assigned by Coach Tipton to be Head Coach of the Plebe Team. As upper classmen the Cadets from his two Plebe Teams contributed to the domination of the league for the next 4 years.

Returning to West Point as Permanent Professor in 1980, Jim rejoined the 150s where he served as Officer Representative for 19 years until his retirement from active duty in the fall of 1998. While providing the continuity for the program’s four different Head Coaches, Larry Henley (1980-81), Bob Knapp (1982-84), Tim Mingey (1984-86) and Bob Thompson (1986-1998); Jim recruited the assistant coaches from the Academic and Tactical Departments. Many of these assistant coaches were former Army 150 players who sustained and reinforced the 150 / Lightweight culture — dedication to excellence, a winning tradition, and commitment to team. These assistant coaches were one of the reasons the Army 150 / Lightweight Football Program was one of the most successful at the Academy. The teams during that period won over 80% of their games, won league championships, beat Navy regularly and won several bowl games. The most significant accomplishment of these teams was that they consistently won the Academy’s award to the athletic team with the best combined performance in all areas of cadet development — academics, military aptitude and athletics.

For 19 years there were two constants in the Army 150 / Lightweight Program – winning football and Colonel Kays on the sideline. The measure of any Army athletic program is the development of future Army Officers. I have no specifics, but I know Jim Kays, and I know that the Cadets he touched during his 26 year commitment went on to serve our nation with distinction.

Summary of Contribution

Cadet Quarterback 1958 – 1960

Class Numerals as Plebe

Army A Yearling & Cow Years

Coaching duties as Firstie due to severe knee injury last game 1960

However, in a snow storm, the last game of the 1961 season, with the team
struggling, Coach Tipton sent in Jim to quarterback the 2d half. 150s won.

Instructor Department of Mathematics 1969 -1972

Assistant Coach 1969, Head Coach of the Plebe Team 1970 & 1971

Plebe Teams won 4 of the 4 games against Goats / Engineers

As upperclassmen his Plebes contributed to the 6 and 1 season in
1971 and the undefeated seasons in 1972, 73 and 1974.

Professor 1980 – 1998
1978 – 1984, Permanent Associate Professor, Dept of Math

1985 – 1987, Permanent Professor, Dept of Math

1988 – 1989, Director, USMA Operations Research Center, Office of the Dean

1989 – 1990, Professor USMA and Head, Dept of Systems Engineering and
Director, USMA Operations Research Center

1990 – 1998, Professor USMA and Head, Dept of Systems Engineering

Officer Representative Army 150 / Lightweight Football 1980 – 1998

Each year recruited assistant coaches from Tactical & Academic Departments

Maintained continuity and tradition for 19 years

During the 19 years teams —

Had winning percentage over 80%

Won league championships

Beat Navy regularly

Won several bowl games

Consistently won the Academy’s Award for best combined
performance in academics, military development, and athletics

Coach Knapp & Coach Thompson referred to the extent to which Jim helped grow, sustain and cultivate the culture and attitude of the 150 / Lightweight Football program.

Associated with Army 150 / Lightweight Football players from 35 Classes

The Kays Trophy, awarded annually to the outstanding player in the Eastern Lightweight Football League, was established in honor of Colonel James L. Kays in 1990

Note –

Jim’s Resume is at – http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-1962/jim-kays-r

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