The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk


Coach Coleman Balances Success With Humility

Eric Mitchell
Jake Coleman is a health/PE teacher, the head varsity football coach, and coaches the Unified bocce team.

   How does Coach Jake Coleman Keep up his success? The key is consistency.

   “Everyday, I’m trying to get two percent better as the head coach,” he said.

   “I challenge every student athlete to do exactly the same thing. I believe if you stay consistent, then 90 percent of your opponents can’t stay focused. Continue to work hard. Then it’s how hard you work and how true to the game you are.”

   As the head coach of the Stephen Decatur High School football team, Coach Coleman has a big heart, is a very honest person, and has the best mentality that his players follow.

   Something that stands out about Coach Coleman is his player development. In fiveyears at Decatur, he has developed a bunch of great players, such as Duke linebacker Luke Mergott. Other standout players he has coached include Davin Chandler, Zakhari Baker, and Ashton Snelsire.

   Another great player is his son and Vanderbilt commit Brycen Coleman, a senior.

   “Brycen is different,” Coleman said, “because he always wanted to be the best. It’s surreal that he’s doing these things he has done, and he’s your son, and he’s around all the exceptional people.”

   Coleman, 42, grew up in Cambridge Maryland, where his father was a waterman. He said he was “different from other kids” because of that.

“I was the only white kid in my neighborhood,” he said. “I grew up on a boat. I was with him all the time. It was a great childhood. I played outside a lot. Even though there was racial tension like Rodney King being beaten up by a police officer, it was a unique time in my life.”

  At Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, he was on two state championship football teams as a player in 1995 and 1996. He would later go on to be a coach for that school, he said, at age 20, one of the youngest coaches in school history. He coached that team to state titles in 2004 and 2014.

Coach Coleman came to Stephen Decatur High School as former head football coach Bob Knox was retiring.

   He said Principal Tom Sites recruited him, along with assistant superintendent Dwayne Abt. Coming here was “the best decision I ever made,”he said.

After a remarkable 2023 football season and a state title, what’s next for Coach Coleman?

   He said there will be several returning players and workouts are happening now for the upcoming season.

   “I feel like you are not a Hall of Fame coach until you have a state championship to your resume,” he said. “And now our challenge is to do it again.”

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