By: Augustus Pfisterer
“Football has given me everything I have ever wanted in life and more, and I guess you could say football is me,” said Sacred Heart University Assistant Director of Club Sports and Head Club football coach Greg Jones.
On Dec. 2 2017 in Wheeling W. Va., the Sacred Heart club football team defeated the University of Fort Lauderdale Eagles 21-18 to win the national championshi“That season felt special. It’s always about the trip not the destination, and that season was a rollercoaster of emotions. We had so many up and downs throughout the year but always found a way to win,” said Jones.
The victory was the first national championship in Sacred Heart club football history.
“I had to accept that trophy and talk about the players while drenched in Gatorade in 20 degree weather, and I remember it like it was yesterday because of how proud I was for these players. There has been no greater feeling in my life then right then,” said Jones.
Jones began his career at Sacred Heart in 2006 as a division one student athlete playing defensive backs his freshman year.
Heading into his sophomore year, Jones gained nearly 50 pounds of muscle and transitioned into an inside linebacker.
However, his playing career was shortened by an array of injuries.
“I bit the injury bug pretty hard. I tore my ACL twice, broke my ankle, suffered multiple concussions, tore the labrum in both of my shoulders, and ended up in the hospital with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) throughout my four years of playing here,” said Jones.
It was because of those injures that Jones got involved with coaching.
“Before my senior year, I became a student assistant coach for video coordinating, and after I graduated they offered me a graduate assistant coaching job for defense. During my last four years, I was the assistant secondary coach,” said Jones.
During his time as a division one coach he had countless players earn all North East Conference selections, including Gordon Hill who played safety for the San Diego Chargers in the NFL.
Since taking over the club football in 2015, the teams have won two North Atlantic Conference championships and one national championship while posting a 24-3 record.
“I have been blessed with guys that want to play the sport that has given me so much, and it just so happens we have gotten lucky and won a few games,” said Jones.“I think what sets him apart is his desire to relate to his players. You can see the guys want to give coach as much as he gives us,” said sophomore Marketing and Sports Management major and wide receiver Anthony DeSimone.
Furthermore, Jones has taken a different approach in preparing for this current season.
“I know that every team is different, so I try to keep my expectations level headed and try to avoid the peaks and valleys. It is a winning culture here, but one that knows we have to work because nothing is given,” said Jones
Nevertheless, Jones contributes the success he has had to the players he has coached.
“I’m just a guy with beard that calls plays. I think these kids that I have had for the last four years love the game so much they would do anything for me and it shows,” said Jones.
“It’s never been about me as a head coach it’s all about the players. When we win, it’s because of players. When the team loses, it’s because of me,” said Jones.
The next club football game will take place on Sacred Heart’s Campus Field on Nov. 2 against the University of Vermont.