By Kevin Deitrick, USC Athletic Director
History was made this past August, when Coach Jim Render won his 400th career football game, a milestone that only 28 other coaches in high school football have achieved. The victory came on August 31 before a packed crowd of community members, family, and former players, when Upper St. Clair defeated Peters Township, 16–14.
The winningest coach in WPIAL football history, Coach Render’s head coaching career began in 1970 at Carrollton, Ohio. His next stop, which lasted for seven years, was in Uniontown. The final year at these two schools was a championship season for Coach Render and his teams.
In 1979, Jim moved to Upper St. Clair to coach the Panthers, where championship seasons have come to be expected. Over the past 39 years, USC has won 22 conference championships, played for the WPIAL championship title 11 times, and has had five WPIAL wins. Jim’s USC team is four-for-four in state semi-final games, with a PIAA championship that included Pennsylvania’s first-ever 15–0 record in 1989, and a 16–0 state championship in 2006. Runner-up honors were earned in 1992 and 1997.
Jim and his teams have won numerous conference, district, and state honors. Jim served as assistant coach in the BIG 33 game in 1990 and as that team’s head coach in 1993. Both were Pennsylvania victories. In 2003, he was the West Coach for the Pennsylvania East-West All-Star Game.
Jim was inducted into both the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Scholastic Hall of Fame (1998) and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (2005). During the summer of 2013, Jim was honored by Lou Holtz and the Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame. Introduced by East Liverpool, Ohio, icon and longtime friend Frank C. Dawson, Jim was presented a Lifetime Achievement award by Coach Holtz.
Jim and his wife, Pam, are the proud parents of two sons, J.T. and Eric, and have four grandchildren. Congratulations Coach Render on your milestone accomplishment. The Upper St. Clair community is fortunate to call you its coach for the past 39 years!