James Rike came to Baylor in 1919 after coaching at Chattanooga Central for 11 years. Rike had a successful college career at Ohio Wesleyan, where he had been a standout football player under noted coach Branch Rickey.
He served as football coach at Baylor until 1937 and compiled an impressive record of 139-41-17, including a 14-6 record against McCallie. His gridiron Red Raiders won a total of 10 City Football Championships and 3 Mid-South Championships. He also served as track coach, and by 1940 his teams had amassed 10 consecutive TIAA or Mid-South Championships. He was a classroom teacher as well, instructing many Baylor boys in biology and Bible.
Coach Rike received special recognition on his 50th anniversary of coaching. He was also inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan University Sports Hall of Fame in 1964. He continued at Baylor long after retirement age. Rike Field is named in his honor.