By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Cooperstown Central School graduate Jacob Russell said he spent the spring of 2019 on campus at Harvard University pondering his future and realizing he did not want a traditional path.
What he really wanted to do, he admited to himself, was coach football.
“I was probably the last person in the world someone from Cooperstown thought would end up a football coach,” he said Monday, April 26.
For one thing, Russell hadn’t played football since elementary school.In high school, Russell ran cross country, wrestled and played tennis. He did crew in college and has run the Boston Marathon twice. Still, despite his athleticism, he knew he did not have a good chance to play football. He topped out in the 120 pound weight class as a wrestler during his senior year at CCS in 2015.
“Evcr since second grade, I was a football fanatic,” he said. “I guess I realized I was too small to ever be a football player. It was kind of a pie-in-the-sky thing to be a coach, but if I wanted to work in football it seemed much more realistic for me to be a football coach than a football player at my size.”
Russell said he was considering his options during spring break in 2019. He was staying on campus for break and decided he should go for it if he wanted to pursue a career in football.
“I was trying to decide if I wanted to go to law school or if I wanted to get a job in finance on Wall Street, you know, sort of the more typical Harvard paths,” he said. “I decided I didn’t really want to do either of those things. What I really wanted to do was coach football.