Jim was born in Brady, TX, 6 June 1921, the third child of Ivan and Myrtle Elliott. He had two brothers and four sisters. He attended several elementary schools and began working at age eight after school, weekends and summers. He worked on ranches and oilrigs during his teen years, but stayed in school, graduating from Rankin High School in 1940. He enrolled in Texas Tech University.
When World War II began, Jim joined the Coast Guard. He served in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and was scheduled to deploy to the Pacific when war ended. He was honorably discharged and returned to complete his studies at TTU, earning Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees. He began his teaching and coaching career in Texas, first at Lefors then moving to Brownfield.
In 1956 Jim accepted a position with DoDDS. His first assignment was the high school at Misawa AFB, Japan. He transferred the next year to Greenham Common, England, then spent one year at Wheelus AFB High School in Tripoli, Libya, and the following year at Chateauroux AFB High School in France. In 1960 he returned to Japan for three years at Narimasu High School, Tokyo. He went back to Wheelus for another year and in 1964 transferred to General H. H. Arnold High School, Wiesbaden, Germany. He taught Physical Education and Math and coached interscholastic athletics each season at Wiesbaden until his retirement in 1984.
During his career he coached Football, Wrestling, Soccer, and both Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Track & Field, and Golf. His Chateauroux HS football team won the Com Z Championship, his Narimasu HS football team won the Far East Championship, his Wheelus basketball team won the International City Championship; and his teams and athletes at Arnold HS in Wiesbaden won many Individual, District and European Championships.
Stars & Stripes Newspaper awarded Jim “Coach of the Year” honors in 1971, 1977, 1980. In 1985 the athletic field at Arnold HS in Wiesbaden was named ELLIOTT FIELD in his honor.
Jim married Nina in Tripoli and they have four children, who were born overseas and educated in the DoDDS system. Jim loved people and activity and made every effort to keep in touch with his friends and students. He died 21 September 2002 after a lingering illness following a stroke.
Prepared by Nina Elliott, 2003