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I'm Just Saying: Jacobs football coach Bill Mitz

Published: Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 9:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 9:48 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com)
Jacobs coach Bill Mitz reacts after a win against rival Cary-Grove in 2011.

For Bill Mitz, retirement never lasted long. After stepping down as the head football coach at Stevenson after the 2009 season, Mitz took the same position at Jacobs, despite two very different trends. The Golden Eagles were coming off consecutive 2-7 seasons, while he had taken his teams to the playoffs for 21 consecutive years. Still, the veteran coach keeps winning. Over four seasons at Jacobs, he’s gone 25-15, and last fall, the Golden Eagles went undefeated in conference play, taking the FVC Valley crown, defeating Cary-Grove by one point in exhilarating fashion Oct. 11.  

I thought what the heck. I told my wife we’ll give it two years [at Jacobs] and we’ll see where it goes. Sure enough, things have started off well, gotten better, gotten better. And now, it’s become a big part of my life. It’s become the second chapter of my life. I enjoy it. I love the kids, the community. The support out here is outstanding. I feel like I’m 30 out here coaching. I mean, the other night I couldn’t sleep. I was excited about everything going on. Two weeks from now, it all starts over again.

We told these guys the other day, ‘we’re the defending champions.’ To be the defending champions, you have to be proud of this. It’s their turn to take it another step. Cary-Grove thinks they have a lot back. We know we have some good people back. We just have to take it one day at a time. We’re playing an 8A quarterfinalist (Barrington) the first game, then St. Charles [East], which was a playoff team in the first round. We got two good teams we’re preparing against.

I think it’s just a little bit if you’ve had success, if you’ve had success for a long period of time, you want to continue with that. Part of that is building your kids and a belief in your program that they do what you expect out of them.

It’s a little bit of a double-edged sword (his playoff streak). It’s something I told my one daughter, since she’s been alive, we’ve been in the playoffs every year, so I call her the playoff baby. A little bit, too, is I wouldn’t be lying to you in saying that when I came here, a lot of people thought I was nuts. They told me the Jacobs kids would never win, that they wouldn’t work hard. And so I took that, and a whole bunch of my assistants took that, as a little motivational type thing, saying, ‘we’ll see about that.’ Low and behold, we started 2-0, 3-0 and people started getting excited. You know, kids are kids. I don’t care if you’re at Mount Carmel, [Wheaton] Warrenville South, if you’re at Stevenson, Jacobs, or Cary-Grove, kids work hard, they believe in you and you get a little bit of luck. You have to have some good kids, but I think that’s the biggest thing: getting them to work and having that pride, that thing when Friday night comes, it’s a special thing for the community. I really feel that out here strongly.

Offensively, we’ve always scored a lot of points. We like to get a lot of points. We want to be physical. We want to be tough.

I’m Just Saying is a regular Sunday feature. If there’s someone you’d like to see featured, write to me at jkaufman@shawmedia.com or send me a message on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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