Category: Blog

Update from Saarbrucken: Go ‘Canes!

Posted on May 20th, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

May 17, 2014


We’ve put the first two month’s in the books and the team is coming along better than expected. Kendral Ellison, one of our two LBer imports has made a huge difference.  I’ve seen this happen over and over here in Europe, we play at a decent speed and then an American NCAA player shows up and everything changes.  Our local guys see what kind of speed Kendral plays at and everyone turns it up a notch.  We’ve done that and it’s a good thing.

While Brandon Sweeney, our co-D-co is nursing a slight hamstring pull and won’t practice for awhile, the other two, both offensive players opened a lot of eyes.

Gievonni, call me Geo, is a RB from Northern Arizona University where he was a teammate of a former player of mine.  Conrad Meadows played for me … Read More »

The first 3 weeks in Saarbrucken

Posted on March 23rd, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

March 23, 2014


I’ve been here for three weeks already and it went by in a flash.  Yesterday we had the first rain since I arrived but its clear and sunny again this morning.  Our 19 under team opened their season yesterday with a nice win.  They are the defending national champions, have around fifty players, and are very well coached by a veteran group.  They are of course the foundation for our program and I’m very impressed with their organization, their enthusiasm and their focus.

As for us I would give it a grade of “B”.  We’ve got a solid group of twenty five players but to be a top team we need at least another ten and fifteen would be even better.  Like all teams with small numbers it doesn’t take long before illness, injury or indifference make’s practicing difficult.  … Read More »

Greetings from Saarbrucken

Posted on March 13th, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

March 8, 2014


Today Michael will drive me to Frankfurt International to meet Mark our American offensive line coach.  Mark will stay for a week and coach our kids and our young and inexperienced German line coach.

Michael gave us a little history on the drive back to Saarbrucken.  The town is in the state of Saarland, the smallest state in Germany if you don’t count city states like Berlin and Hamburg.  It is the state capitol.  Our team is the Saarland Hurricanes named after the state, not the town.  We are located five minutes from the French border.  And the largest USA military base in Europe, Ramstein, is thirty minutes north on the autobahn.

Saarbrucken is situated at the heart of the Saar-Lor-Lux region.  The city has about 180,000 inhabitants and is strongly influenced by its proximity to France.  In fact it … Read More »

Odyssey to Germany

Posted on March 10th, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

Feb. 28, 2014


My flight left Portland on time at 6:00 am.  It was KLM with Delta and I was riding in a window seat.  The sun hadn’t appeared yet and the fog was hovering as the plane ascended.  I could see the lights of Portland between layers of fog and in the distance the sun was hovering just below the horizon, hiding but soon to make an appearance.  The soft pillow like cover of clouds below made it impossible to see after we left the city airspace.  Once into the flight snow-covered peeks now and then appeared in breaks in the cloud cover.

I’m on my way to Atlanta and on to Frankfurt where members of the Saarland Hurricane management will meet me.  I’ll begin another coaching odyssey in Europe, this time in southern Germany.  I’ve done stints in Austria, Finland … Read More »

Retirement is not for everybody….

Posted on March 3rd, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

February 5, 2014


Like I said, retire and people want you.  Yesterday I agreed to help coach June Jones at SMU when I return from Germany.  The D-1 schools have begun hiring people to work off field helping in areas that used to be done by on staff coaches.   My task will be a multiple one.  First I’ll be an ‘Idea’ guy, consultant if you will.  June says he wants my eyes and my brain.  And he wants me to look at all their video from last season and ‘critique’ the offense.  I did that very thing a few years ago for Mike Riley at OSU and enjoyed it a lot.  June also wants me to help the Mustangs understand and implement the ‘No Huddle’ which he hasn’t done but I’ve been doing it for thirty years.  The final part of … Read More »

God Bless the Broken Road…..

Posted on March 3rd, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

December 13, 2013

I’ve officially retired. My last season wasn’t really a season at all and as it turns out, but that’s ok. I’ve left Lakeridge high school and high school football in my rear view mirror. It was a mostly good ride. Most of my friends would say way better than that. A few hundred wins and three state titles will look good on my tombstone I guess.
It’s my birthday. I was born on Friday the 13th in 1940. Omaha, Nebraska to be exact. Right now I’m sitting in my brothers back yard in Lafayette, California listening to Rascal Flats “God Bless the Broken Road, that led me straight to you.” Somehow it seems fitting. My road was broken now and then but for the greater part of a 48 year career … Read More »

Moving On….

Posted on December 29th, by Jake in Blog. No Comments

Dec. 25, 2013

I like this quote, which I discovered a few months ago. It’s from a high school football coach somewhere in mid America.

“Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece — by thought, by choice, courage, and determination.”

I woke up this Christmas morning with a smile on my face, Let me tell you why. 2013 brought an end to my coaching career here in America but it was the right time. I spent 48 years coaching, mostly in the state of Oregon, and the number of friends I’ve managed to make is amazing to me. Yesterday I sent out 1,213 invitations through facebook to friends inviting them … Read More »

Chapter 24: Thanks and Farewell for now…

Posted on July 5th, by Jake in Blog. No Comments


Sunday June 23, 2013 Zagreb, Croatia

My trip to vienna started out exactly as our season ended…a disaster. It was about a ten minute walk to the trolley stop and because my “Catch the Tolley” karma is what it is, my number 13 trolley trundled by as I was about 100 yards or a 30 second sprint from the stop. I declined to embaras myself with an attempted run. So naturally, it was another twenty minutes before the next one arrived. I passed the time reliving my final moments at a certain very small college. I’m not sure anyone was awake yet in the neighborhood but I didn’t care as I cussed my trolley luck and the pseudo intellectual jackasses at said college. Fortunately I had given myself enough time, knowing what my chances of a one or two … Read More »

Band of Brothers

Posted on June 11th, by Jake in Blog. 1 Comment


Monday June 10, 2013 Zagreb, Croatia

Last Thursday at practice one of the players said to me “Coach, we’re just a Band of Brothers.” Well, yesterday the B of B, twenty one strong traveled to Moribor, Slovenia for our league game Vs the Generals. They are by far the best team in our league and in fact will more than likely win both our league title as well as the second league they play in, which is a combination of Slovenia, Serbia and Austria teams.

Without the border crossing the trip would take about an hour as it’s only seventy five miles. However, we need to cross the Croatia border, no mans land, … Read More »

Blue Monday…..

Posted on June 2nd, by Jake in Blog. No Comments


Monday May 27, 2013 Zagreb, Croatia

Some might call it Blue Monday after witnessing another dismal performance on the football field by our team, but when you put the entire situation into perspective it’s anything but. Yes we lost and this time it was especially hard to watch as we came from a 0-12 hole to lead 15-12 only to quickly lose that hard earned lead with poor kickoff containment and a four play drive by our opponents that put us behind again 19-15. And the topper was a first and goal on the one yard line with three minutes left in the game that turned into a fourth and twenty dropped end zone pass. Ouch.

This football team obviously isn’t very good and the reasons begin with not enough good players and includes poor practice attendance, that leads to … Read More »

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