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GA Mourns the Loss of Jim Fenerty 1760

Jim Fenerty 1760, longtime athletic director, boys basketball coach, and history teacher, and most recently part-time college counselor, passed away peacefully on May 19, 2021. The GA community mourns the loss of this incredible icon.

Head of School Rich Schellhas 1760 wrote the following to the community:

"With utmost regret and deepest condolences, I write to you about the passing of GA legend Coach Jim Fenerty 1760, who passed peacefully yesterday - albeit decades too soon. A true family man who loved and lived for his wife Mary and children Jimmy ’09, Erin ’12, and Jessica, son-in-law Jawan, future daughter-in-law Emily, and grandson Jalen, Jim always made GA, his students, his players, and his colleagues feel like his extended family. How truly blessed we are to have known him. As a man, as a role model, he taught us to be defined by love, by relationships, by kindness, by passion, and by integrity – and never by our wins and losses. Jim’s accomplishments as a basketball coach, athletic director, and history teacher at GA are astounding, but his legacy is, and will always be, his heart.

"Today my consolation comes from one profound image – the heavenly reunion of members of what I think of as GA’s Greatest Generation who have passed. Dearest friends embracing in my mind, happy to see one another, and united in the cause of watching over their beloved families as they watch over us all.

"We will have many opportunities to celebrate Jim’s life as we forever mourn his loss. Let us hold in our hearts his dearest family."

Fenerty formally retired from GA in 2019 after 30 years as basketball coach. His 626 career wins is the most in Inter-Ac League boys basketball history. Fenerty is only the third boys basketball coach in Philadelphia history to reach the 600-career victory total. Fenerty led the Patriots to 17 Inter-Academic League Championships and his teams recorded 17 20-plus win seasons. Most recently, Fenerty's teams won five consecutive league titles from 2013-17. He also brought home the program's first Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association title in 2013.

During his tenure, Fenerty was selected Coach of the Year by The Philadelphia InquirerPhiladelphia Daily NewsThe Times-HeraldThe Intelligencer, and The Ambler Gazette. He is a member of the GA Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame – Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame. Fenerty is also a member of the GA Honorary Alumni Class of 1760.

Fenerty never hesitated to give back to the greater basketball community over the years. He participated in the Coaches vs. Cancer program for the last 30 years and was honored at the Coaches vs. Cancer High School Legends Dinner in April 2017. He also led his popular Saturday Morning Basketball Program for 30 years, which introduced the game of hoops to the youngest members of the GA and surrounding communities while giving current varsity players the opportunity to lead and coach.

In addition to coaching and teaching his legendary Civil Liberties history class and guiding student-athletes through the college recruiting process, Fenerty also oversaw GA's entire athletic program for 22 years. From 1994-2017, Fenerty led the supervision of 26 varsity sports, which included upwards of 88 teams and more than 800 student-athletes participating and competing at multiple levels in Middle and Upper School, three club sports, an athletic training staff, and a strength and conditioning coach. During his time, Fenerty championed the creation of GA's Athletic Hall of Fame to honor GA's illustrious athletics history, and was instrumental in the expansion of GA-PC Day to include girls' sports, and eventually, every fall sports team. Fenerty Court, a basketball court in the new Annex at GA, is named in his honor.

Cards and condolences can be sent to Germantown Academy (340 Morris Road, Fort Washington, PA 19034) and will be delivered personally to the family.


A viewing will be held on Monday, May 24 from 6-8pm at Joseph A Fluehr III Funeral Home, 241 E. Butler Avenue (at Sandy Ridge Road) in New Britain.

A viewing will be held on Tuesday, May 25 from 10-11:30am at Saint Robert Bellarmine Church, 856 Euclid Avenue, Warrington, PA 18976, with a funeral mass beginning at 11:30am.

A luncheon will be held at MaGerks in Horsham immediately following the service.