SLOCOMB, Ala. (WDHN) — One Slocomb football coach has a unique experience from which his players can learn.
He’s using his college and professional playing career to impact the lives of his players and students now.
Jake Allen is a physical education teacher at Slocomb Elementary School and a football and track and field coach for Slocomb High School.
Before he was a coach, he was an athlete himself.
The wide receiver played two years for Mississippi Community College before playing at then Division III Mississippi College.
In 2008, he was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.
He spent a year and a half with Green Bay before spending a about a year with the Cleveland Browns.
He would go on to play a season in the Canadian Football League and a season of arena football.
When it came time for Allen to hang up his cleats, he knew coaching was the next step for him.
“It’s a way of giving back to the kids, just teaching them what I learned because I’m not going to say I didn’t have all the resources, but a lot of stuff I had to learn on my own so everything that I’ve learned I try to instill in these kids and get them on to the next level,” Allen said. “What I learned on the college level and also on the professional level.”
Allen believes his most valuable experience from which to teach comes from his junior college career.
“I tell them all the time I wasn’t the fastest kid, I wasn’t the strongest kid, but I truly believe just being around that junior college talent that I was around, made me better. I really wasn’t as good as I thought I was so I had to put in the work to get better because I didn’t even play my first year in junior college. It was work that I had to put in and to get myself better and just being around those guys just made me better.”
Allen encourages Red Tops who want to play at the next level that work ethic makes all the difference.
“In order just to get noticed you’ve got to be number one or number two just in all the categories so you have to put in that extra work and you’ve got to study as well. You’ve got to study the game as well as in the classroom. The classroom comes first, but if you know how to study in the classroom, the game should come easily.”
In the Wiregrass, Allen has also coached and taught at Dothan and Houston County.
Coach Allen and the Red Tops take on the Northside Methodist Knights at home Friday night.