9, 10, 11, 12
9, 10, 11, 12
Class of 1977
A baseball and hockey standout who was the backbone of several league champion teams in both sports, Jim Tortorella later played both sports at the University of Maine and has gone on to become a successful hockey coach in high school and currently at Colby College.
One of five children growing up off Law's Brook Road, Tortorella had easy access to Warner's Pond and Rideout Playground, places which helped him develop his skills as an athlete. Older brother John, a 1976 CCHS grad and Hall of Fame inductee, Bobby, Bill and sister Carol were all strong athletes in their own right and made the Tortorella name synonymous with toughness and determination.
On the ice, Tortorella was a four-year varsity goaltender for legendary coach Dan Bova, and helped establish CCHS as a hockey power in Eastern Massachusetts. The Patriots competed against some of the best teams in the region, and made multiple appearances at the old Boston Garden. The 1975 C-C squad finished 16-5-3, defeating Case and Lynnfield in the state tournament before losing a heartbreaker to a Randolph team that featured future NHL Hall of Famer Rod Langway at The Garden. In 1976, the Patriots went a school-best 19-3-1 during the regular season, and defeated Triton in the state tournament before bowing to perennial power Billerica in the semifinals. In Tortorella's senior season, he backstopped the team to a 16-2 mark and fourth consecutive state tournament appearance.
In baseball, Tortorella played three years at second base for coach Brent Clark, and was an integral part of Dual County League championship teams in 1975 and 1976 and went 14-7 in the spring of '77 before losing to Norwood in the state tournament. Tortorella teamed with brother John to form a solid double play tandem for two years, and according to Clark, provided an example of leadership with his talent and determination:
"I remember a state tournament game at Emerson vs. Gloucester sophomore year where we were facing a top pitcher and late in the game Jim was almost knocked out in the on-deck circle after one of his teammates hit him with a bat by mistake," said Clark, who guided the Patriots to three league titles as head coach. "Jimmy was a little stunned, but he went up and knocked in the tying run. That typified the type of mental and physical toughness of all the Tortorella's, and that kind of toughness meant they always got the maximum out of their ability."
Following a strong athletic career at Maine, Tortorella has embarked on a 23-year coaching career in the high school and college ranks. Tortorella began his coaching career at Brunswick High School in Maine, where he coached from 1984-87. He also coached at Cony High School in Augusta, Maine, from 1988-93, during which time he was twice named State of Maine Coach of the Year.
Following two years as an assistant coach at UNH, Jim was named head coach at Colby College in 1995, and has coached the Mules to an impressive 142-68-18 record over the past nine years. A finalist for the 1995-96 National Division III and ECAC East Coach of the Year honors, Jim's 142 wins make him the all-time leader in career wins among men's hockey coaches at Colby, and his teams have been ranked as high as #3 nationally.
Tortorella coached the best under-20-year-olds in the United States when he was named the assistant coach for the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 USA World Junior teams. He currently serves as a consultant of player development for the USA Hockey affiliates of New England. In 2001 he was elected president of the prestigious American Hockey Coaches Association. He holds the highest level of coaching education achievement within USA Hockey, the master certificate.
Jim and his family currently reside near the Colby campus in Farmingdale, Maine.