Apr 18, 2023
Coach Spotlight - Jake Coleman
Jake Coleman (he/him), is the Esports Coach at State Fair Community College (SFCC) and has been for the last two years. Currently, the SFCC esports team has around 40 students, but they expect a lot more growth in the coming seasons.
“We are so pumped for the next season! There are some big changes happening this next fiscal year at SFCC and our Fall of 23 season and beyond we will be catching fire,” said Coleman.
Coleman got into esports shortly after he graduated high school during his freshman year of college.
“I was really into sports during high school and loved competing. When I started college, I found myself missing the competitiveness of sports. Around that time, I made some new friends in college that introduced me to LAN parties. I remember the first time going and seeing people getting into it and yelling at each other across the room and thinking, I could really get into this! Long story short my life has never been the same, esports is now a part of who I am,” said Coleman. In fact, he was a professional Gears of War player in the past.
What does this (upcoming) season look like for your team?
“We are so pumped for the next season! There are some big changes happening this next fiscal year at SFCC, and in our Fall of 23 season and beyond we will be catching fire,” said Coleman, “We practice, scrim, have VOD reviews, and strategy build. However, what I consider our secret sauce is team building. Our players have really become best friends and involved in each other’s personal lives.”
Have any of your players' growth or stories stood out to you as a coach/coordinator? Why?
“I could write about this forever, there are just too many so here are my top three. Josh Wyrick, one of my team managers, is a non-traditional student. He is medically retired from the Air Force and is using his VA benefits to put himself through school. He has been a huge part of the esports program and has helped me in more ways than I can count. He not only is amazing at esports but a great student as well. He has been awarded numerous scholarships for his unique background and his bright future. His most recent award was winning the PTK scholarship being 1st in the state of Missouri and going on to nationals in Las Vegas,” said Coleman.
He went on to talk about more of his players.
“My Rainbow Six Siege team started playing in the Spring of 22. When they started playing all of my players were around silver rank. That semester we went 5-4 for the season. After that, my players started putting in the work. Since then we have gone undefeated the last two seasons and my player’s average ranks are emerald, diamond, and two knocking on the door of champion. Their hard work has paid off!
The last story is about one of my Rocket League players named Dillon Meade. Dillon is a fantastic RL player and one of the most mature level-headed kids I have met. He only played on the SFCC esports team for one year but had loads of success. He stood out amongst players and was offered almost a full-ride scholarship to play Rocket League at Wichita State University. Unfortunately, he turned it down because he wanted to be a pilot and UCM had a better aviation program with flight time built into the program. However, he does play Rocket League for the UCM team,” said Coleman.
While Coleman had many good things to say about his team, his players had positive things to say about him too.
“What he does with what he’s given is nothing short of remarkable, also he’s the best hype man, big ups coach,” said player Javier Talavera.
Of course, being a coach of a program can bring some challenges. This includes all of the moving parts to run a successful program.
“As college esports coaches we have so many things to manage especially if you are solo like me it can be challenging,” said Coleman.
However, it can also be very rewarding. Coleman explained how his favorite things about esports are the amazing community, the skills and knowledge he has learned, and being a part of a rapidly growing industry.
“The NJCAAE has been amazing to work with. Having 14 different titles is huge, no other esports league is close to that amount. That makes it much easier to recruit and find titles that everyone can enjoy. They are super innovative and always forward-thinking. They listen to their community both coaches and students have a voice,” said Coleman, “They then take that feedback and actually make important changes to improve our esports experience. Everyone who I have worked with or communicated with within the NJCAAE has been really friendly and helpful. I love how I can hop on Discord and find someone immediately that is willing to help when I have issues. The NJCAAE is a 10/10, highly recommended.”
Outside of esports, Coleman is very family oriented. He has a wife whom he describes as beautiful and who has supported him all the way. They also have a 15-month-old daughter named Henley, who Coleman said has him wrapped around her finger. They are expecting their second daughter in June of this year; who will be named Hallie, and a Bernese Mountain Dog named Ollie.
Is there anything else you’d like to add before we go?
“Yes,” said Coleman, “GO ROADRUNNERS!”