Jamaican Coach of the Year Jobson points way to US scholarships
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Jamaican coach, Richard Jobson, who was last year awarded Gatorade's Coach of the Year and the 2012 National Coach of the Year, believes local football coaches need to pay more attention to their players' academics to make them more attractive to prospective overseas institutions offering scholarships.
Jobson, who coaches in the United States, last year guided American Heritage to the Class 3A state championship, the fifth state title in the school's history and first state championship since 2008, in his first full season as head coach.
"The (Jamaican) youth Under-21 team came up here in Florida and I hate to say they had no grades, and the college coaches are looking, but the best they can go to is any NIA (National Inflation Association) school or even worse a junior college," Jobson told The Gleaner. "I think the coaches in Jamaica are just not recognising what the college coaches need to get the kids to the higher level.
"They (Jamaican coaches) are not preparing them (footballers) for the real world and it is a tough world out there."
The 40-year-old Jobson, who won the Pepsi Under-13 and Colts football titles with Kingston College, before departing the island at age 14, is in dialogue to stage a college camp in the island in the middle of the year.
"What I am planning to do is to hold a college camp in Jamaica where I would bring down college coaches because there is a lot of talent in Jamaica," Jobson said. "It is just that the resources are not being used properly. Jamaica doesn't have GPA (Grade Point Average), but we can make more kids start taking the SAT and ACT (American College Testing) and that can make them more attractive to the college coaches."
Jobson takes pride in seeing his youngsters develop and move to the next level and lists his greatest achievement in his coaching career as seeing a number of the members of his winning championship team securing places in some of the top colleges.
"I am really proud that I am going to put 14 of my under-17 kids that are graduating into Division One top 20 schools and that's what I am really happy about, as I know they are going to go on to do bigger and better things," Jobson said.
Two Jamaican's also formed part of last year's winning team. Jamar Campion-Hinds, a senior who plays forward, has received offers from five different colleges. There is also centre back/holding midfielder, Nieco Lance, who Jobson believes can make it into any school based on his GPA.
"These are the big Jamaican kids that everybody dreams about with speed and strength," Jobson stated. "I have another Jamaican kid name Donovan Henry, who is a region player and he is a sophomore who plays right back and I am looking forward to getting many more."