Double duty keeps Jacobs busy at International 

It seems strange to think the night of an upset playoff win on the road would represent one of the lightest workloads of the season for a high school basketball coach.

But after Carl Jacobs coached the 10th-seeded International boys’ basketball team to a 53-41 victory over No. 7 Rincon Valley Christian on Wednesday in the first round of the North Coast Section Division V playoffs, no one would have blamed him had he remained on the bench expecting another game to begin.

For the past two years, Jacobs has coached both the Jaguars’ boys’ and girls’ teams and was on the sidelines for 57 games (and counting) this season — including doubleheaders on 20 occasions. The boys are now 20-9, including going 10-0 in Bay Counties League Central games, while the girls finished the year at 15-13 (10-2 BCL) and lost in the league title game to Gateway. The boys will look to advance to the NCS semifinals with home win over No. 2 St. Elizabeth of Oakland on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

"[With the girls being done] I do have a little more time on my hands now, but I love being in the gym," Jacobs said. "I really do miss the ladies, but they’re a young team. They’ll still be playing at this time next year."

For Jacobs, his stint with the girls’ team represents a return to his coaching roots.

His first head-coaching job came the year after he graduated from Riordan in 1980, when his aunt Joanne Stamps recruited him to coach the Mission Rebels, her adult women’s rec league team. He went on to win six Academic Athletic Association titles in 23 years while coaching the Lincoln boys before moving over to the Jaguars. The original idea was for him to eventually coach just the boys at International, but what began as a temporary situation is quickly growing on Jacobs.

"I think it’s really helped me as a coach," Jacobs said. "The girls help me out with my temperament when I’m working with the guys, but they don’t want to be treated like the little sisters either. I’m pushing them and they’re really starting to get after it."

Not that Jacobs’ excitable nature didn’t take a little getting used to.

"I think last year it seemed a little harsher," junior guard Julia Hechanova said. "But we don’t want to be treated any differently than the guys. During the games, you can’t take the criticism personally, because right afterward, he’ll give you five and be like a big teddy bear."

The two teams practice one after the other and sometimes work together after practice. That, combined with the shared bus rides, countless hours spent watching their counterparts’ games and International’s relatively small enrollment (less than 400) has brought the teams close together.

"He’s a yeller sometimes, but he brings out the best in both teams," said guard Josh Merritt, who played at Lincoln for one year before transferring. "He’s a really understanding coach and treats everyone equally."

melliser@examiner.com

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