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James Joseph O'Hora
Birth: Feb. 16, 1915
Dunmore
Lackawanna County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Aug. 5, 2005
State College
Centre County
Pennsylvania, USA

He was of the son of the late Michael J. and Mary Butler O'Hora.

On Nov. 28, 1942, Jim married Elizabeth "Betts" E., of Parkplace, Mahanoy City, who died Aug. 15, 2001.

Jim graduated from Dunmore High School in 1932. He played high school football and was on their championship team in 1930. Jim was named to the Lackawanna County All Academic Team in 1932.

Jim played center for the Penn State football team, and lettered in 1933, 1934 and 1935. Jim earned a Bachelor of Arts in physical education in 1936 from Penn State. He also earned a Masters degree at PSU.

After the WWII, Jim was a high school gym teacher. He coached Roaring Springs High School Yellow Jackets football and track. He was head coach of football, basketball and baseball at Mahanoy Township High School 1939. Both schools were located in NE PA.

Jim began his college coaching career at PSU in 1946 at the invitation of Bob Higgins. Jim and Joe Paterno were assistant coaches together at Penn State during the 1950s and 1960s. Jim stayed on as an assistant when Paterno took over as head coach in 1966.

Jim coached the defense on the 1968 and 1969 teams that finished with identical 11-0 records and Orange Bowl victories.

He was the defensive coordinator on the 1973 team that finished 12-0, including a 16-9 win over LSU in the Orange Bowl. Penn State finished with winning records in all but two of Jim's 31 seasons on staff. He was promoted to Assistant Head Coach in 1974. He retired in 1977 in State College. He worked under head coaches: Bob Higgins, Joe Bedenk, Rip Engle and Joe Paterno.

Jim was inducted into the Pennsylvania Football Hall of Fame in 1992. The "Jim O'Hora" award is presented by the coaching staff, at the Blue White game each spring, to the most improved defensive player on the Nittany Lions squad.

"Jim is one of the finest people I've ever known," Joe Paterno stated. "He was a big brother and a father to me. He was a great colleague, a wonderful football coach and a great father. Jim was one of those people you come across only once in awhile. I will miss him very much."

Jim served in the U.S. Navy (LT) in World War II as the commander of USS LSM 8 in the Pacific Fleet in the Luzon campaign in the Phillipines.

He was a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church; the B.P.O.E #1600; State College; the American Legion #245; State College, Penn State Quarterback Club; and the Penn State Football Lettermen's Club.

In addition to football, Jim was a creative woodworker and a gardener. He enjoyed golf and traveling to see his family. Family get-togethers always included a "round of golf" around the homestead with the boys. He was a wonderful storyteller and loved to share stories of his family or coaching experiences.

Jim is survived by four children and 9 gradchildren, as well as five great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and his wife, Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Mary O'Hora Coyne and a brother, Vincent who died when he was a baby. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Emily O'Hora (1919 - 2001)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Centre County Memorial Park
State College
Centre County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: CHO
Record added: Aug 08, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11496299
James Joseph O'Hora
Added by: Anonymous
 
James Joseph O'Hora
Added by: CHO
 
James Joseph O'Hora
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Apple Sauce
 
 
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"For the Glory..."
- Kenneth Gilbert
 Added: Jul. 29, 2012

- Rich Fedoush
 Added: Oct. 30, 2005
We shared a love of flowers, family and your son, Don. Thanks so much for everything Jim. I was the lucky one for knowing you. We'll be planting that tree just as we promised.
- CHO
 Added: Aug. 8, 2005
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