Football alumnus returns to coach high school

Greg-JarrettAmid the din of discussions and stories being recounted at this year’s Manchester University Kickoff Classic golf outing in July, one reflection may have stood out.

As Greg Jarrett ’04 and his foursome played their way around Stonehenge Golf Course in Warsaw, Ind., he noted his distinctive path that led him back to North Manchester to serve as assistant coach for receivers at Manchester High School. He had worn MU’s Black and Gold, playing in the same position now where he leads others, highlighted by a senior campaign that included being the leading rusher, ranking second in receiving yards and being first in touchdowns en route to all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors. After graduating in May of 2004, Jarrett gradually found his way back to North Manchester to help coach the Squires.

“I never envisioned [the route from college player to high school coach in the same town], but I remember the high school playing at Burt Field,” said Jarrett, an accounting and finance major at MU whose day job is now accounting at Paragon Medical Inc. in Pierceton. “I’m not originally from the area, but it’s nice to be back and have things come full circle.” Being a part of the process that sends Manchester High School players on to college is rewarding, says Jarrett, and one of the things he enjoys about coaching high school. “It’s especially nice when they decide to go to Manchester University.”

When Jarrett looks back on his playing days at MU, he remembers the camaraderie and friendship. “It continues today,” he says. “Every opportunity in which my former teammates and I are back together [no matter for what], we seem to pick back up [where we left off]. I cherish those relationships, and I know [the high school student-athletes] will, too.”

Jarrett also draws on his collegiate days by channeling former MU coach Dave Harms. “When I first started [in high school coaching], I was yelling, and screaming asking players ‘Why did you do this?’ and so on,” he reflected. “As I get older, I see Coach Harms coming out in the way I do things … a little more laid back and trying not to be so stressed out. He was always happy-go-lucky and didn’t seem to have any stress at all. There’s been that switch and understanding from me, too.”

Jarrett wishes he knew then what he knows now about what it takes to be a successful football coach. “There were some days [at Manchester] where I could have benefitted from that knowledge.”

As Jarrett and the rest of the golf outing crowd listened to the thoughts of current head coach Nate Jensen, Jarrett couldn’t help but let a smile creep across his face.

Jensen “is working hard to get good young student-athletes into his system,” said Jarrett. He’s got the program moving in a great direction.” The MU coaching staff “continues to work hard to reach new heights,” adds Jarrett. “It’s fun to see it grow as an alum and coach.”

Growing much like the Crawfordsville, Ind., native has from his first days in North Manchester during the late summer of 2000 to now.

By Mark Adkins
Sports Information Director