Jim Amrine set for retirement after more than five decades

Following more than five decades in the sporting goods industry, Marietta resident Jim Amrine is ready for retirement.

For the past 12 years, Amrine Awards & Apparel has been his home-based business, but he’s now leaving that in the hands of Marc and Sarah Coppernoll.

“I’m still filling some orders and next week toward the end of the week we’re going to move everything in to the Coppernoll’s house and I’ll be done as of August 1,” Amrine said.

A 1969 graduate of Marietta High School, Amrine started working at Zide’s Sport Shop when he was just 14.

“I worked some retail as well as helping in the team supply division alongside two of my brothers,” recalled Amrine, who graduated with a business management degree from Xavier in 1973. “Bob Zide was always wishing that I was old enough to drive so that I could run deliveries. Throughout high school and then on breaks and in the summer during college I traveled with Bob fitting helmets and other equipment on high school football teams and a few college football teams.

“Bob was very much my mentor and the one I credit with passing on business knowledge. To this day I’ve never met a business person as talented and knowledgeable as Bob Zide. Prior to graduation, Bob asked me if I would like to come back to Marietta and work full-time at Zide’s as the retail manager. I graduated on June 2 and began working immediately. Four weeks later I got married to my beautiful wife Karen, of 48 years, and after a brief honeymoon got right back to work.”

Amrine eventually became the team division sales manager after his older brother Tim, who had previously held that title, transitioned to Zide’s screen printing and embroidery division.

In the early 1990s, Bob Zide’s brother Gabe retired, which left an opening in the trophy and school jacket division of the company. Amrine was tabbed to take that over and in 1994 the decision was made to sell off the trophy division.

“I made an offer to buy it which was accepted and then I opened up a store front on second street (in Marietta) which I called The Recognition Center,” Amrine noted. “In 2001, I partnered with a fellow who was in the screen printing business and we formed a company we called Image One Graphics. After a couple of ownership changes and a move to Parkersburg we then partnered up with Dean’s Screens and Embroidery.

“In January of 2009, I moved the trophy division to my home in Marietta, renamed it Amrine Awards & Apparel and have been there to this day. It was then I developed the part of my business where I sell T-shirts and sweatshirts at sporting events such as cross country, track and field, cheerleading, wrestling, volleyball and more such as lots of basketball tournaments and football playoffs as well as bowling tournaments and even dance recitals.”

Amrine, who will turn 70 in October, admitted “this is the moment in time that I earmarked as my retirement time. My wife and I have purchased a home in Bluffton, South Carolina and I will join her soon to begin that retirement. It was my goal to find someone local so that there would be a trophy shop in Marietta.”

After raising three children and spending a total of 55 years in the business, the former Marietta Tiger said he appreciates everything he’s experienced through the decades.

“I’ve met so many wonderful people in my travels throughout West Virginia and Ohio,” he added. “That is what I will miss the most, the people! I always enjoyed working at Zide’s and the opportunity and situation came up to buy the trophy department and strike out on my own. I just figured this is what I’d always do. It’s the people you work with that make your job most rewarding, your co-workers and your customers alike.

“I was surrounded with great people all of the years that I was at Zide’s. I may miss the work, but I don’t think I’ll miss it for very long. I’m going to start enjoying time with my wife and golf. We like to travel so we are going to do a lot of traveling.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com


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