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Over the past 50 years, no coach has had a greater impact on shaping the sport of track & field in southern California than Jim Bush. Upon high school graduation, in 1944 Jim entered the U.S. Navy Air Corps. He completed his military degree in 1946 and enrolled at Bakersfield Community College. After receiving his AA degree in 1948, Jim attended the University of California, at Berkeley, on a track scholarship and received in B.A. degree in 1951.
Unfortunately, Jim’s collegiate track career was marred by a series of hamstring injuries. Determined to become a better coach than he ever had, Jim began his track coaching career in 1952 as an assistant at Berkeley High School. That summer he was hired as head boys track coach at Fullerton High School where he led his team to the league title in his first season and for the next seven years thereafter.
In 1959 Jim was named the head coach at Fullerton Junior College where he coached cross country and track and field. In his 2nd season, Jim assembled what many consider to be the greatest community college track team of all-time. His team won both the Southern California and State Championships. Along the way, his athletes set 53 school, conference, and state record, as well as 7 national junior college records. Three of his athletes broke the national JC record in the half mile and two broke the national record in the mile.
Occidental College was the next to call for Bush’s services where he coached from the fall 1961 to 1964. In the fall of 1964 Jim became the head coach of the Bruins. From 1966 – 1984, Jim’s UCLA teams won 13 of 19 UCS dual meets, seven PAC 10 Conference titles, and five NCAA Championships.