The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Varsity football coach steps aside following long, storied tenure

February 21, 2017

Social studies teacher and head football coach Jay Ball has made his decision to retire from Omaha Public Schools (OPS). The rule of 85 is the reason for his retirement. It states that if a teacher has worked 30 years and turns 55 his or her 30th year, then he or she qualifies for retirement.

Ball will have hit both of those marks in teaching and coaching this summer. “And I just decided it was time,” Ball said.

He has been a head football coach for 22 years. “I felt like 10,000 pounds of weight were lifted off my shoulders,” Ball said figuratively. Ball said being a coach comes with a tremendous amount of pressure and most of it is self-implemented.

Some of Ball’s players have asked why he has decided to retire. He just explains to his players why he chose the decision and his players wish him well. “There’s certainly no bad feelings,” Ball said. He also thinks the players are excited to find out who the next head coach is going to be.

In addition of coaching football he also teaches AP government to seniors. “I just tell them we’re going out together,” Ball said.

Accomplishments Ball feels he has made in his years are teaching are working hard and treating people right. “I try to set an example not only for my students and my players, but even for my fellow coaches and fellow teachers,” Ball said.

Ball has been at Central for 11 years teaching and coaching. Eleven years at Omaha North High school and eight years at Omaha South High school. Between the football program and faculty, Ball thinks OPS staff has improved relations over all over the OPS district.

“I also think being a coach and being in the classroom has been a good thing, every coach I know they’re good teachers,” Ball said. He hopes he has enhanced the reputation of taking pride in the teaching career as both a coach and teacher.

Within his years Ball feels his years working in OPS and football he feels he has definitely made his father proud, who passed away 11 years ago. “My dad was always about doing things the right way and I really think that we did things the right way here,” Ball said. Ball’s first year coaching Central’s football team he was able to have his father coaching with him at his side.

Ball graduated from Central in 1980. He feels being an alumni of Central is pretty cool.  He is finishing his teaching career from where he started. “Ironically the room that I’m in 241, is the same room that I had my last class when I was a senior and as a teacher I’m going to end it in the same room,” Ball said.

He says he was definitely ready to give up the position as head football coach because of all the pressure. His main decision for retirement is finding another job making some more money. “If I could make that same kind of money as a teacher I would, no doubt about it,” Ball said.

He has already applied with several other Omaha school districts and plans to get another teaching job and even a job as an assistant football coach. As for Central, Ball has nothing but good memories. “It’s been a great 11 years,” Ball said.

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