Longtime Berkley coach adjusting well at Troy High

By: Mike Moore | Troy Times | Published April 27, 2011

 Jim Ellis compiled a 101-89-1 record from 2003-2010 with the Berkley High baseball program. He’s in his first year at Troy High.

Jim Ellis compiled a 101-89-1 record from 2003-2010 with the Berkley High baseball program. He’s in his first year at Troy High.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


TROY — There was going to be some hesitation and second-guessing.

Over the prior eight years, Jim Ellis had transformed the Berkley High baseball program into a winner. He’d taken his alma mater from a struggling team and created an annual contender in the Oakland Activities Association.

So, walking away was never going to be easy.

“Tough,” was the only way Ellis could describe his decision to leave Berkley for the same position with the Troy High program.

“But I saw this as a new challenge for me in my career,” he continued. “It was something I had to jump at.”

After nearly a decade at Berkley, Ellis was on the move. One of the driving factors in his decision was a teaching opportunity in the Rochester Community Schools district, one he said wasn’t available in Berkley.

But from a baseball standpoint, he felt it was time for a change in venue.

“The kids and people I worked with at Berkley were incredible,” he said, noting the team’s 25 wins last spring, a program record. “But I think Troy is on a different level as far as the game is concerned. There’s more exposure and more of a year-round involvement. I feel like I’m in the right point in my career to make that step up.”

While the Colts stumbled a bit last year, they’ve had more than their fair share of success under the tutelage of former coach Frank DiVito in recent history.

That fact wasn’t lost on Ellis.

“There’s a great baseball tradition over here that I wanted to immerse myself in and help add to,” said Ellis, who compiled a 101-89-1 record from 2003-2010 with Berkley, a run that included a district title in 2009 and OAA title last year.

Admittedly, his start with the Colts has been a little slower than he would have liked, for reasons out of his control.

Rain, snow and cold had allowed Troy on its own field just twice as of April 19, and overall, the Colts were 1-3.

“I’m still learning about these kids, and they’re still learning about me,” Ellis said. “I can almost guarantee two of those three losses don’t happen if they’re played later in the season when I have a better idea of who fits where. So, it’s a work in progress right now, but everyone has been so responsive and so supportive.”

Asked about his goals for the program, Ellis said the immediate focus is all about his current group of seniors and helping them enjoy as much success in 2011 as possible.

“As for the long term, I want to keep that tradition going that Frank built here,” Ellis said. “I think we play in one of the best leagues in the entire state, and if we can make the most of that from one year to the next and add to what has already been established here, we’ll always have something to be proud of.”