PAOLI, Okla. (KFOR) – “Hey, Jacob.”
He says he is not a coach anymore, but you can never take the coach out of Coach John Jacobs.
“Hey, Adam! You weren’t here yesterday.”
“I was sick.”
Way back in 1995 is when Coach Jacobs showed up at Paoli Schools. He coached basketball, football, baseball and track, but Carol Smith met him even before that.
“Probably about 45 years ago,” she said. “He coached another team that our son played basketball against, and he was a fiery coach. He screamed and hollered and jumped up and down.”
He has always been passionate. You may not see it on the field or on the court these days as coach, but you cannot miss it in his daily devotion to these students.
“He has driven a school bus for I don’t know how long, and he’s retired, of course, but he’s just here at the school and he does whatever they need him to do while still driving the school bus,” Smith said. “He’s never been married. He is a bachelor. He took care of his mom and his dad until they passed, and he still did all of this even with them. He does it because he loves these kids.”
He may not be coaching ball games these days, but when he is not cheering from the sidelines, you can find him at the concession stand making purchases for students when they cannot. The stories about Coach Jacobs are near endless, and that is why Smith nominated him for Pay It Forward.
“We read about all the work Coach Jacobs is doing in Paoli, and we are so happy on behalf of First Fidelity Bank to give him $400 to pay it forward,” Matt Robinsons said.
Four hundred dollars is passed from First Fidelity Bank, to KFOR, to Smith, and now to Coach Jacobs.
“What the heck? What are you all doing?”
“I’m Joleen with Channel 4. You were nominated for Pay It 4ward, and we’ve got something for you.”
“I thank all of you all, and I thank you all for making a trip down here to Paoli, Oklahoma.”
Coach Jacobs credits his small town upbringing that goes back farther than his many years of coaching.
“I guess it was the way I was brought up by my mom and dad. They weren’t teachers, but I’ve got three family members who were in education, and now we’ve nieces and nephews who are in education,” he said. “Well, to make a long story short, I never got married, and these are my kids.”
“What do these kids mean to you?”
“Oh, gosh. The world. Everything. I’d be lost without them. I would.”