Jim Reynolds lived and coached in Hamilton where he worked for most of his life. He was the Scarlet Pimpernal of trainers and deplored publicity. Jim never registered as a trainer, as he felt that the handicappers would treat his runners more harshly if it were known they were involved with him.
He came to the meetings but never associated with his runners on the day, preferring to stand away from the crowd. His runners had been given their instructions beforehand, as Jim was a prolific letter writer and his training programs were regularly relayed to his runners by post.
As his runners were spread far and wide throughout the western district some would visit on the weekends for a couple of good training sessions under the eye of the master coach and a good meal courtesy of Mrs Reynolds.
Jim was a top class footballer in his youth and played for Hamilton before switching to training athletes. He coached for over 40 years until his death in 1969. Although never owning a car, he never missed a Stawell Gift meeting in all that time.
His most famous pupil was Harry Downes who acknowledged Jim as a close, sincere friend who was responsible for turning him into the champion that he eventually became. Harry said that, at that time, he felt Jim was as knowledgeable as any athletic coach in the world. Whilst training under Jim, Harry held the world professional ½ mile, mile and 2 miles records all at the one time.