Coach Render announces retirement after 40 years and 400+ wins
The winningest football coach in WPIAL history is retiring after nearly five decades of coaching high school football. Coach Jim Render submitted his letter of resignation and officially announces his retirement as head coach of the Upper St. Clair varsity football team.
In total, Coach Render has coached 49 seasons – two in Carrollton, Ohio; seven at Uniontown High School; and the last 40 at Upper St. Clair. He is the first and only WPIAL coach to reach 400 wins – a feat only achieved by 29 high school football coaches in the nation.
“I have had the privilege of serving as head coach for the Upper St. Clair football program for 40 years,” Coach Render said. “During that time, the school district’s football program has achieved great success and many young men have gone on to have outstanding collegiate football careers as well as remarkable success in their chosen professions.”
Under his leadership, the Panthers reached the WPIAL playoffs 38 times – earning 23 conference titles, five WPIAL championship titles and two PIAA championships.
“Coach Render has built a highly successful high school football program here in Upper St. Clair – winning numerous titles and accolades,” Dr. John T. Rozzo, superintendent of schools, said. “We are grateful for his many years of service to the Upper St. Clair School District.”
Coach Render was recognized as the Scholastic Coach of the Week by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 16, 2018. During the two-minute warning of the first half, he was presented a framed Steelers jersey boldly displaying his last name and the number 400.
Most recently, on Dec. 18, it was announced that Coach Render was nominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2018 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award, which honors high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula. Coach Render, along with the other 31 nominees, is invited to the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando where they may watch the game, and interact with coaches and experts from around the country.
Coach Render was inducted into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. In addition, he was recognized with the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Beyond his role as football coach, Coach Render has deep roots within the Upper St. Clair community. A former high school physical education teacher, he and his wife, Pam, both retired following long careers within the Upper St. Clair School District, where they raised their two sons – J.T. and Eric.
“Coach Render has had a great impact on our football program and on the Upper St. Clair community over the years,” Amy Billerbeck, school board president, said. “We commend Jim on his achievements and wish him all the best in his retirement.”
The district will begin its search for Coach Render’s successor in the coming weeks in order to ensure a seamless transition.