James Bombaci's high school coaching career spanned almost 40 years. From 1975-'78, as Head Coach at Hamden High, Jim posted a 50-34 win/loss record. From 1978-'86 and then 1988 to 2005, as Head Coach at Daniel Hand High School, Jim posted a 354-189 record and captured the Hammonasset Championship, six Shoreline Championships, and a State Championship. From 2006-'14, Jim served as Head Coach at Haddam-Killingworth, posting a 107-82 record and capturing the Shoreline Championship. During his extensive career, Jim Bombaci has recorded an amazing 511 wins against 305 losses.
In 1981, the New Haven Tap-Off Club named Jim its Coach of the Year. That same year, Jim was named Connecticut Shoot-Out Coach of the Year. In 1984, the Connecticut Board of Certified Officials District II named Jim Coach of the Year. In 1993, Jim was named Shoreline Coach of the Year. In 2002, the Connecticut High School Coaches' Association named Jim its Coach of the Year. In 2004, Jim was named the Connecticut Board of Certified Officials District II Coach of the Year and, in 2005, the New Haven Tap- Off Club honored James Bombaci with the Distinguished Service Award.
Jim served twice as Head Coach of the Coaches' All-Star game and fourteen years as Head Coach in the AAU.
Jim has fond memories of his many years of coaching. At the top of his list is winning the 2009 Shoreline Championship. His Haddam-Killingworth team was not even expected to be a competitor in the Shoreline Finals. The picture was bleak as Jim’s team was behind by four points with 47 seconds remaining in overtime. A freshman H-K player literally took over the game. She stole and converted two Old Lyme passes to tie the game and then stole a third pass and converted a free throw to give H-K the Championship!
Basketball has been special to Jim for many years. He hopes he has made some of his players’ lives a little better. “I know that the players have made my life a whole lot better.”
Jim is now happily retired and continues to play softball and basketball in an “Old Man” league. He also pursues his interests of playing in a rock band, target shooting, and motor cycle riding.