‘Batesy’, as ‘The Head Ball Coach’, Steve Spurrier, calls him, played college football at the University of Florida as a middle linebacker, where he attained All Southeastern Conference status and was a captain of the Florida Gators' 1996 national championship team, while graduating with a telecommunication degree. In October of 2014 he was inducted into the Florida / Georgia Football Hall of Fame.
Between hosting, play-by-play and analysis for over a dozen different networks, James has logged thousands of hours in front of the camera & has 3 Emmy Awards to show for it. He is also very proud of his work behind the camera, as he has produced and directed many documentaries, most recently a five part series, “Here Come The Gators” featuring Billy Donovan and Gator basketball for Sun Sports.
When the cameras are turned off, he can be found with his wife, Tina, and three children, or painting in his studio. James is also an accomplished artist who has had many gallery showings, most recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He completed a large commissioned piece for new University of Florida President Fuchs’ house, this past March.
James is teaching a play by play / tv host class at the University of Florida's College of Journalism in the spring of 2017.