Spear, James L. “Turp” - 1993
James “Turp” Spear shaped the lives and talents of local athletes for thirty years, coaching football, baseball, and track at two of Savannah’s largest public schools: Jenkins High School and Savannah High School.
A native of Troy, Alabama, Spear was a four-year starter on the Troy University football team as a tackle and guard.
Spear started his coaching career in 1953 as an assistant at Savannah High. Four years later, he became head football coach and led the Jackets to three 9-1 seasons. During these years, his teams competed once for the state title and won the South Georgia Championship. For his efforts, Spear was named Savannah Coach of the Year.
Spear was always extremely successful in baseball, earning Region Coach of the Year honors in the sport and coaching the South All-Stars baseball team. The versatile Spear also won track Coach of the Year honors while at Savannah High.
Spear’s coaching career took him to Jenkins High, first under Bubba Attwood, then later as head coach. His winning records earned him the honor of coaching the South Georgia All-Star football team.