By Casey Pickard
Jay Locey has been the coach of the Lewis & Clark football team since Dec. 2014. He recently enjoyed his first wins with the program and is excited to see the program progress.
Locey was raised in Corvallis, Oregon, where he eventually enrolled into Oregon State University (OSU). Early on in his studies, he chose to switch his major from business to health and physical education after discovering his passion for science.
“I started off in business but that wasn’t interesting to me,” Locey said. “I enjoyed studying the biology part … the anatomy and physiology was pretty intriguing to me.”
Additionally, Locey played men’s football for the OSU Beavers. He claimed that it was fun although not a very “bright time in OSU athletics” as many of their teams weren’t winning games, including his team. However, through this experience Locey developed a philosophy that takes the focus off of the scoreboard.
“In spite of what the scoreboard said, push every day to be your best,” Locey said. “Chip Kelly’s motto at the University of Oregon (UO) was ‘win the day’ and it had nothing to do with the scoreboard.” Kelly coached the UO Ducks, who played in the national championship in 2015, and he had brief coaching stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.
After college, Locey coached at Lake Ridge High School in Lake Oswego for four years and then continued his education at UO’s graduate school. After his graduation, he resumed his coaching career at Linfield College where he worked for 23 years.
Locey believes that this philosophy can be applied to anything in life through the mindset of pursuing one’s best in spite of a win or a loss. The focus should be about the things that you can control.
“You can work your tail off and get a C in a class but you can still feel really good about it,” Locey said, “If we get a group of people working together, pushing to be their best in whatever aspect of life, I think we got a pretty good chance to be successful on the scoreboard.”
By instilling a mindset that values achieving excellence in all aspects of life, regardless of what the results are, Locey believes that the Pios have a greater chance at winning more games. In fact, the LC men’s football team has won more games this season than they have in three years. After winning their games against Pomona-Pitzer and Willamette in September, the philosophy that Locey has been instilling into his players is coming to fruition.
When he began his position, Locey asked his players, “What do you like most about Lewis & Clark?” Many responded with, “I love my teachers and professors.”
“That had just not been the dialogue of the previous schools I had been at,” Locey said. “That’s the piece that really jumped out.”
This response from Locey’s players “enamored” him and made him feel even more confident that they would have a good response to the outlook he wanted to implement into them.
“I like that I can coach and recruit young men that will be pushed in the classroom and be their absolute best,” Locey said. “I thought that was very congruent with the school and it was going to be an easy thing to implement.”