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Between losing his job after three years with Washington State University, being abruptly put into the head coach position after his predecessor’s short stay, and having only two wins last season, Weber State University head football coach Jody Sears has had his fair share of ups and downs, but he’ll be the last to complain about it.
Anyone who was around Sears last year couldn’t help but notice how positive he always was, regardless of the situation. Whether it was in a press conference after a gut-wrenching loss or at the coaches luncheon for the Wildcat Club, there was always a smile on his face and undeniable energy in his voice.
When asked how he was able to do it, he said, “As a leader, you’ve got to represent not only through your words, but through your actions. I’m not gonna be the one to kick rocks down the street and (say), ‘Woe is me, we’re 2-9, waa waa waa.’ I’m not gonna be that guy, I don’t want my team to be that guy.”
While the approach makes sense from a coaching perspective in keeping the morale of a team high, it certainly doesn’t stop there. Sears stressed the importance of not only getting the most out of his players on the field, but also giving the most to his players for their future.
“We’re building these men to be men of integrity, to have character — that when they leave here, they got a chance,” Sears said. “They’re going to be successful when adversity strikes.”
Now, despite the losing season, he has his team united behind him. Senior linebacker Anthony Morales said the players were at first skeptical of Sears’ intentions, wondering if they were the same of his predecessor: just looking to get another job with better pay. One year later, that sentiment has changed.
“After seeing him work this offseason, it’s not that way,” said Morales in a press conference in August. “He really is a great coach, a great guy. He has 90 guys behind him. I think that’s the first start . . . players playing for their coach.”
The players aren’t the only ones who have noticed Sears’ character. When making Sears’ three-year deal official, athletic director Jerry Bovee recognized the difficulty of the situation Sears was put into when he first came to WSU and praised how he handled it.
“He did it with style and class, engaging the community and fans in a positive way, all while maintaining stability in our program,” Bovee said.
Clearly, Sears has more than just his players behind him.
The bottom line for Sears’ attitude can be found in his simple philosophy: “I’m always so positive, because that’s a choice we make, and I don’t like the alternative.”