1952 James 2022

James R. Forbes

July 8, 1952 — January 21, 2022

On January 21, 2022 James Ricardo Forbes passed away in a hospital while battling the after affects of a virus. Known as Jim to most. He grew up as Jimmy to his family and now known by all as “Coach Forbes”. Born on July 8, 1952, in Fort Rucker, Alabama, Coach Forbes moved to El Paso, Texas with his family in the late 1950’s and has been a lifelong El Pasoan. Jim Forbes attended Del Norte Elementary School where he first started his basketball career, then attended Bel Air High School where he became a High School Basketball All American. Jim was recruited by nearly every major University in the country but chose to stay in his hometown and attend the University of Texas El Paso. As a sophomore in college Jim was chosen to play in the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia and then was also chosen to play on the infamous 1972 USA Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in Munich, Germany. The team won its way to the Gold Medal Game and was denied its Gold Medal on a controversial last second play. Jim Forbes returned to his role at UTEP and completed an injury hampered college career. Jim was drafted by the Chicago Bulls of the NBA and the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. His pro basketball career was never realized due to injuries. Jim came home and became an assistant coach under his mentor, Coach Don Haskins and alongside Tim Floyd at UTEP from 1981-1984. Coach Forbes would dedicate himself to teaching history and coaching and would take over a high school basketball program at Riverside High School. He was at Riverside for 20 years winning numerous District and Regional titles and taking the program to State Final Four in 1995 losing to the eventual State Champ. Jim would then go to Andress High School where he would achieve like successes taking the program to numerous District titles and Regional successes to include another State Final Four appearance again loosing to the eventual State Champs. Coach Forbes would accumulate over 700 victories and become one of the winningest coaches in the City of El Paso and the State of Texas. Coach was also serving on the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Coach Jim Forbes has had his jersey retired at Bel Air High School and at his alma mater University of Texas El Paso and is also in the El Paso Sports Hall of Fame. Riverside High School has graciously named their basketball gym the “James R. Forbes Gymnasium”. His most recent El Paso honor was to be inducted to the El Paso athletic Mount Rushmore. Jim is survived by his wife Mary Jane Forbes, his daughter Dana Forbes, two sisters, two brothers, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. He is predeceased by his mother, Julia Mae Plummer and two sisters and one brother. He will be missed by the El Paso community and his family. A Memorial Mass will be held at 1:30 PM, Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at St. Patrick Cathedral, 1118 Mesa St. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of James R. Forbes please visit our Sympathy Store.
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