Year of accolades continues for Jim Rosborough, now selected NJCAA D2 assistant of year

Jim Rosborough has spent 28 years as an assistant coach in Tucson — 18 with the Arizona men’s basketball program, one with the Pima men and nine with the Aztec women (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The honors for Jim Rosborough are accumulating at a fast rate as his coaching career becomes longer, reaching 52 years.

In the last seven months, Rosborough, 78, has earned these rewards:

— Induction into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame in October

— Election into the A Step Up Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame on March 8.

— Being selected the NJCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year by the World Exposure Report this week.

Rosborough recently completed his ninth season as an assistant to Todd Holthaus after serving as Lute Olson’s right-hand man for 27 years — nine at Iowa and 18 at Arizona. He also served as an assistant for the Pima men’s program in 2009-10.

Assistant coaches generally do not have the spotlight, but Rosborough is different. He was very visible to the public at Arizona with Olson and he’s highly regarded with Pima’s successful program.

“I’m really proud of it for myself but there’s a lot of us, including people who work hard and just don’t get any recognition for it, coaches and a lot of jobs,” Rosborough said about his accomplishments as an assistant coach in an interview with AllSportsTucson.com this season.

The World Exposure Report mentioned about Rosborough, affectionately known as “Ros” by people close to him: “While just 78 years young, he remains a student of the game and connected to today’s athletes.”

A pregame ritual for Pima is Rosborough spending time with the team on the court during warmups. Before the Aztecs go to the bench for the start of the game, they huddle with Rosborough, who offers his words of wisdom.

Without fail, the players look at him intently even though an age difference exists of almost 60 years.

“I just love Coach Ros,” Pima sophomore Priscila Varela said. “At first, I was kind of scared of him because I didn’t understand what he wanted from me. Once I understood that, it was like him genuinely wanting good for me and get me to get the good things I need to get out of Pima.

“I was like, ‘Wow.’ Like film, anything extra that I needed to do. If I wanted to get extra shots up, he’s there. If I wanted to watch extra film, he’s there. He’s got notes ready at all times. He all-around is a great coach and ready to help at all times.”


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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