'Things are in place for a great football program,' the new head coach says

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Tim Jacobs, the new head football coach at Rex Putnam High School, has a background coaching defense, and its a good thing. Putnam had the worst defense in the Northwest Oregon Conference last year, giving up an average of 40.5 points a game en route to an overall record of 3-7.Tim Jacobs, who was hired as head football coach at Rex Putnam High School in May, says he likes what he’s seen at Putnam in his couple of months at the helm.

“I am very happy I am at Putnam,” Jacobs said. “Things are in place for a great football program.

“The administration sees the value of strong athletic programs and has been very supportive; Jesse Eveland, the new athletic director is a Rex Putnam alum and he is very invested in Putnam athletics and their success; the parents have been very supportive; the gridiron club has been nothing short of amazing; Jason McMahan, with Putnam youth football, has been great to work with; and there’s been great participation by players at summer workouts.

“We’ve averaged 35 kids, and from what I’ve heard, that’s considerably more than they had doing summer workouts last year.”

This is the first head coaching position for Jacobs, but he has been around athletics and football most of his life.

“My dad, Dave Jacobs, has over 40 years of high school coaching experience, a good portion of it at Crater High School,” Tim Jacobs said. “He retired from teaching 10 years ago, but he’s still coaching football.”

Tim Jacobs has coached since 2001, when he was a defensive line coach at Linfield. He’s coached at Lewis & Clark College since 2008, serving as defensive coordinator, while teaching physical education classes. He was a volunteer assistant in the football program at Phoenix High School in 2002, jayvee coach at Crater in 2003, and he was an assistant at North Medford High School for four seasons (2004-07), serving as defensive coordinator the last two.

Jacobs is a 1996 graduate of Crater High School, where he played football and basketball and competed in track and field. He earned first-team all-conference honors as a defensive end in football. He had a personal best of 59-11 in the shot put his senior year, but missed state because of an ankle injury.

Jacobs earned his bachelor’s degree in health education from Linfield in 2001. He went on to earn his masters degree in teaching and health eduction from Oregon State University, where the remainder of his education was paid for when he was awarded the Oregon Laurel Scholarship, which is based on “academic performance, test scores, extracurricular involvement and writing ability and creativity....”

Besides heading up Putnam’s football program, Jacobs will teach part-time in Putnam’s physical education department, while also working with at-risk freshmen students.

Jacobs said last week that he was still building his staff, but he had named seven assistants, many of them new to Putnam football.

Putnam wrestling coach John Telesmanich and longtime Putnam youth coach Keith Mason have signed on to help out. Telesmanich will serve as defensive coordinator and is also working with the offensive linemen. Mason will coach offensive and defensive linemen.

Former Portland State and Lewis & Clark strength coach Jerry Hill is coaching the freshmen team; Putnam alumnus Aaron Brown is helping out, working with the running backs and linebackers; Jafar Maurice is coaching wide receivers and defensive backs; Alex Morgan will be an assistant with the freshmen team.

And Jacobs’ father, Dave Jacobs, has left his job as an assistant at Phoenix High School, to work with his son. He’ll be the offensive coordinator. Tim and Dave Jacobs have worked together before, at Lewis & Clark and at North Medford High School.

Tim Jacobs said that the wing-T will become the Kingsmen offense, both in the youth and high school programs.

“Through all my travels recruiting at the college level, I found that the teams that were consistently the most successful were the teams that ran the wing-T,” Tim Jacobs said. “It’s relatively easy to learn and you can have success no matter your personnel, whether or not you have a good quarterback. And it doesn’t depend on having a dominant line.”

Jacobs said of his goals: “Short-term and long term, increasing the program numbers, both in youth football and in high school. With numbers comes competition and with competition comes victory. Long-term I’d like to have 25 to 30 incoming freshmen out for football every year....

“Improving strength and conditioning. Getting the guys to the point that they can succeed and play at a high level week-in and week-out....

“Short-term, our goal this year as a program — we want to get one of the four playoffs spots from our conference. We want to earn one of those playoff spots, control our own destiny.”

Jacobs replaces Brad Lewman, who resigned, after heading up the football program at Putnam for three seasons. Lewman’s teams compiled a record of 11-20. Putnam finished sixth in the eight-team Northwest Oregon Conference last fall, going 3-4 in conference and 3-7 overall.

The Kingsmen last season had the worst defense in the NWOC, averaging 23.6 points per game, to 40.5 points per game by their opponents.

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