BALL IS LIFE
Honored for his achievements, football coach reflects on past
November 10, 2016
Football coach, Jay Ball is being inducted into the OPS Athletic hall of Fame as a contributor for his hard work and dedication as a coach and improvement in OPS athletics.
“Athletics mean a lot to me, it’s been my life,” Ball said. Ball has played youth football, high school football at Central and college football at University of Nebraska at Kearny.
Ball has been a coach for 31 years and gained the inspiration from his father who was also a coach for 46 years. “Seeing what my dad did, I wanted to be like my dad,” Ball said. Football provided Ball motivation, he knew he wanted to get into coaching and that was the career he chose.
Ball’s father passed away almost ten years ago and his father inspired him “a lot, just by the way he carried himself,” Ball said.
“Football is the drive and force in terms of where I’m at today,” Ball said.
Ball first started coaching at Omaha South from 1995-2005. Though the team never won a championship in those years, Ball says he enjoyed the students and people he met.
He said it was tough to win a championship because not many students at South went out for football. But they were tough years that helped Ball improve as a coach.
He transferred to Central in 2006 to continue coaching. He believed there was more talent at Central and that he would win a state championship as a coach. He describes switching to Central as the “icing on the cake.”
Ball’s sister, Jill (Ball) Goodrich and her late husband Mark Goodrich are both being inducted into the OPS athletic hall of fame as contributors also. Jill and Mark owned a business called MG Contracting and Design. The three started a team camp for football in 1998. Ball had then approached his sister and her husband in 2004 if they would be willing to sponsor the camp themselves and without any hesitation the couple said yes.
Mark provided the name of the camp, called MG Football Camp and provided support. Jill provided the organization and behind the scenes work for the camp.
Ball feels he’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame because of his sister’s and her husband’s hard work of the camp improving OPS athletics. “I feel like I’m just kind of tagging along. To me it’s a family award,” Ball said.
Ball knows his father would be very proud of both of his children being inducted in the Hall of Fame. Ball also knows his father will be there in spirit the night they are announced inducted.
Ball feels his coaching has improved a lot since he first started. He feels he’s a lot mellower compared to his earlier years. “I try to communicate with the students better and understand what they’re going through at times,” Ball said.
His new coaching strategy is to not make quick decisions and make decisions based on the long run. Ball is motivated to keep on coaching because he never feels satisfied. “Winning is a big motivator and I hate losing,” Ball said. He is also motivated by the process and developing of young men from freshman year to senior year. One of Ball’s goals is watching them grow and mature.
Overall, Ball feels being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame it is a family honor and Ball is very proud.