SEM’s Coach of All Trades: Jimmy Dref

By Mary G.

As the bowling season comes to a close, we can reflect on Jimmy Dref, our coach of all trades.

Born in Buffalo, NY, Jimmy has played nearly every well-known sport in the books. From football to diving, Jimmy has hit baseballs, shot basketballs, golfed, swam and skied all through highschool. “I’m a natural athlete,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I’m a great athlete, that just means I’m a natural athlete.” 

Now, he still plays golf and bowls, but not competitively. He shared his stats: highest score in bowling was a 280, and lowest in gold was a 67. 

Beyond sports, Jimmy spent time in Florida during college, attending the University of Miami with an affinity for Greek Life, surfing, and farming avocados. He recounts the hand-sized spiders that would catch you as you’d ride your tractor between the trees. 

From 1981 to 2006, far before his years of coaching, Jimmy lived in Long Island selling Christmas trees, a far cry from cheering on high school girls as they hit a golf ball or throw a strike. Jimmy began his coaching career at Elmwood Franklin, where he first coached basketball, baseball, and softball.

Though he doesn’t quite recall exactly when or how he began at SEM, he said, “I love to coach because I love sports and I want to see you guys, you know, get excited and get into it — it’s fun!”

And that reigns true. Faith ‘24, from the bowling and golf team, says “he’s an amazing coach,” and Katie ‘24 says Jimmy is the reason she stuck with golf.

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