By Brad Fauber
Joe Jacoby is returning to the college football coaching ranks.
Jacoby, who served as an assistant football coach at Handley High School this past fall, was recently named the new offensive line coach at NCAA Division III Concordia University Chicago. It marks Jacoby's first return to college coaching since he held the same position at Shenandoah University from 2008 to 2012.
"I was content and happy where I was at Handley, and I said I wouldn't get back into [college coaching] unless someone showed interest. And a couple of schools showed interest," Jacoby said in a phone interview Friday.
"It's a good opportunity and it's a good school."
Jacoby, a 13-year National Football League offensive lineman and three-time NFL Super Bowl champion who played along the Washington Redskins' vaunted offensive line in the 1980s and early 1990s, joins Concordia-Chicago's staff as the Cougars are looking to rebound from their first losing season since 2008.
Concordia-Chicago struggled to a 2-8 season in 2013 under first-year head coach Randy Awrey following a string of successful seasons in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The Cougars were 10-1 in 2012, their only loss coming in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Jacoby, a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, inherits a young offensive line at Concordia-Chicago that struggled to help the Cougars move the football last season.
Concordia-Chicago finished the 2013 season ranked next to last in the seven-team NACC in rush yards per game (110.9 yards) and the Cougars were last in the conference with eight rushing touchdowns. The Cougars also allowed 42 sacks last season.
"The head coach, he's been there a year, and he kept some guys from the previous staff and wanted to bring some guys in who had playing experience ... to come out and develop these offensive linemen," Jacoby said of a Concordia-Chicago offensive line that consisted of one senior, four sophomores and a freshman this past season.
The Cougars run a spread-style offense, according to Jacoby, and most of the rushing plays come from a read-option look.
Jacoby said he was drawn to Concordia-Chicago in part because of the school's affiliation with the Lutheran Church.
"They get to live out their faith and play football, and that really appealed to me," he said.
Jacoby, who officially started his new coaching job on Monday, also added that he holds a great deal of respect for Division III athletics.
"I guess it's hard to explain why I enjoy it," Jacoby said of coaching at the Division III level. "I guess it's because of the passion. It's a true love of the sport. The players aren't earning scholarships ... they're doing it because they love doing it."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org