Jacobs to work with US team
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University volleyball coach Mitch Jacobs is about to get the chance to go to "volleyball heaven" for two weeks.
From July 8-21, Jacobs will serve as a volunteer assistant coach for the USA Volleyball Girls Youth National Team in Anaheim, Calif.
He will not only get to work with the top 16 U-18 players in the county, he will also be reunited with a pair of legendary coaches whom he has looked up to -- former Ohio State coach Jim Stone and former Florida assistant coach Nick Cheronis.
"This is going to be such an unbelievable two weeks with USA volleyball," Jacobs said. "It's kind of two-fold. One, I get to be in training with the best that USA Youth has for the 17 and 18s in the country. Working with that level of athlete is special. We've had some at Marshall at that level and this is 16 of them.
"From an education standpoint, I get to see how Jim and Nick are putting it together. I get to see the workings of Team USA from the inside."
Jacobs said he has worked with USA Volleyball since 1992 and has led collegiate select teams at other various times, but this opportunity is one that he's sought out for a while and doesn't come around often due to timing.
"I have tried to get my name into this mix before and it never worked out," Jacobs said. "The times I've been able to go with collegiate select teams sponsored by USA Volleyball have been great, but this is a chance that I've been looking for. This is the top USA Youth National Team."
Jacobs said one of the more exciting things is to be able to sit back and take in the things that Stone and Cheronis bring to the game from a coaching side.
He said he looks forward to soaking it all in, no matter what duties he's called on to perform with the camp.
"I'll be the first in the gym and the last to leave," Jacobs said.
One of the biggest qualities that Jacobs said has led to the successes of Stone and Cheronis is their demeanor and how they approach their profession.
"Those guys are the best for a reason over time and humility is one of them," Jacobs said. "They've been on both sides of it -- the windshield and the bug -- and they aren't jerks, which most people think coaches at that level have to be. What I've seen is that coaches at that level of success are humble and I've always had great respect for them because of that."
Jacobs outlined one such instance when "Stoney" let his personality shine through.
Stone, who coached Ohio State for 26 years, approached Jacobs out on the recruiting trail after Jacobs had left Fairfield to take the Marshall job in 2002.
"He said 'Hey we're homies now. We're only two hours away,'" Jacobs said. "It ignited conversation and we've been friends ever since. That just stuck out because that's the type of guy he is."
When Marshall won the 2005 Conference USA Championship, Jacobs got to face Stone's Ohio State group in the NCAA Tournament in Columbus.
Now, he will get the chance to coach on the same sideline while on the country's biggest volleyball stage.
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