New Dino coach, a former player, aims to revitalize football
It may have just been a regular meeting, but in reality it was much more than that.
When newly named Carbon High football coach Jan Jorgensen spoke to players and parents at a mandatory meeting in the school auditorium last week, it was the first step down a long road to turning around a program that has experienced more dips and lows than highs over the past 15 years.
Expectations were discussed. Important information to know was laid out for both players and parents to absorb. It was the starting point.
Jorgensen said one of the main things he wanted to come out of the meeting was to challenge both the players and the parents in order to help make the program better.
"There are a lot of things we will be doing differently than in the past," he said. "I wanted to do a lot to change the mindset of the kids and the parents involved with the Carbon High football program."
Just by getting out in front of an audience of potential players and parents, Jorgensen said he is already getting excited about putting in the work to turn the program around.
"It has me more fired up now," he said. "Talking to everyone at the meeting has helped get that feeling going around that with a lot of hard work we can get this thing turned around."
As a former player, Jorgensen said he understands the frustration that many players, parents and others in the community have with the CHS football team. While he experienced both winning and losing seasons, Jorgensen said the teams he played on had a good group of athletes who wanted to win.
Jorgensen played four years of football at Carbon High from 1999-2003 before going on a two-year LDS mission in Boise, Idaho. He went on to play on the defensive line at BYU from 2005-09 where he helped anchor a strong defense that helped the Cougars to their most successful four-year period in school history.
That experience of playing at the highest collegiate level is something that Jorgensen is looking to use in his new position as a head coach.
"I was very fortunate to be around some very good coaches while at BYU," he said. "I got a chance to see the qualities that help those to become good coaches and see how they go about the process of rebuilding a program like BYU that had struggled for a few years."
Citing a renewed level of commitment, Jorgensen said the players on the team must dedicate themselves to becoming better athletes. The training regimen, both in the weight room and out on the field, will be one of the focus points in helping the team to become faster, stronger and smarter when heading out on the field to play an opponent.
"The level of commitment is key for us," he said. "Players, coaches and parents all need to be committed to being there to help push things forward."
While there will be a lot of hard work put into playing the game, Jorgensen knows that football can't be all work. He said the team will put in the work necessary to become better and that playing on the team will be a good experience for everyone involved.
"There is a lot of hard work that will be required from everybody," he explained. "But we'll have some fun too. Overall this needs to be a good experience for the kids."
The need to win games is high up on the list of things that Jorgensen wants his team to work hard towards. It's one of the ways he hopes students will be more interested in coming out and participating in the program.
"No one wants to put in all of those hours of hard work to only go out and lose games," he said.
The start of working hard is only one month away. Starting early in the morning of Monday, June 2 at 7:30 a.m. summer workouts will begin.
"That's the day we start getting the kids on the team to become better athletes," Jorgensen said.
The team will not only be the only ones to train hard. Jorgensen, who has been competing in mixed martial arts fights for the past few years, said he is training for an upcoming fight on June 28 in Orem. He is hoping that his dedication to something like MMA will be an inspiration for the team in working hard towards accomplishing a goal.
"Hopefully that can be an inspiration to the team," he said. "It's no different than being committed to doing your very best in places like school, work and other areas of life."
With the start of the season just over three months away, Jorgensen said he awaiting the first opportunity to step out on the field as a Carbon High head football coach.
"I can't wait to begin this new career and be able to teach and coach in my hometown," said Jorgensen. "This is something that I've always wanted to do."