Smith enjoying coaching at Eastern Kentucky

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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Jacob Smith has been a quality control football coach at Eastern Kentucky for just over two months and the former Franklinton gridiron player said it’s going great.
“Getting a ton of great experience,” Smith said. “Getting to grow as a coach on the field and off the field. I’m getting to teach these guys on the field and off the field. Getting this experience as a young coach is extremely valuable. The staff here has been awesome. Moving across the country for the first time wasn’t easy, but they’ve made it easier. The first week I was up here, the offensive line coach cooked jambalaya, gumbo and red beans and rice. You move across the country and you think you’ll never get to eat cajun food ever again and I get a taste of home my first month. I think we’re going to have a good team this season. We won the conference championship last year and made the playoffs.”
Smith, who is a 2018 Franklinton High School graduate, said that Eastern Kentucky quarterback Parker McKinney is coming back. He said that McKinney pretty much set every school passing record last season. Smith said they have more offensive players coming back.
Smith, who started at Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 15, is also acting as an assistant linebackers coach. He watches the operation of the defense and makes sure it’s running smoothly.
Smith said the best part is getting to take on more responsibility.
“At LSU, I got to run drills at times, but it was limited because I was a student,” Smith said. “Here, I’m getting my feet wet as a coach. I feel like I’m growing and loving every bit of it.”
Smith credited his parents Shane and Tricia Smith. Shane was a longtime football coach at Franklinton and is now principal. Tricia is the special education director at the school board.
“Just getting to watch his success and learning how to win, not just winning, but winning the right way. He and my mom did a good job of raising me,” Jacob Smith said. “Just coming from a really strong background in football and home life, I’ve been able to see from a young age how to build examples for these kids and how to develop relationships on and off the field and how to conduct yourself in a football building. Another big thing is my dad is a very process oriented person. As a coach, you take on a lot of work and you have to be a process oriented person. You constantly preach to the guys trust the process and I got to see that at a very young age. It was something my dad was huge on and I’m very thankful that it was emphasized to me as a very young person. Another thing he and my mom did very well, them both having a bunch of responsibility in their careers showed me how to balance and excel in your professional career and keep strong relationships with family and friends.”
Eastern Kentucky plays in the ASUN Conference.
They play in the FCS Division I, which is the same division as Southeastern Louisiana University and Nichols State University.
Jacob Smith is a 2022 graduate of LSU with a degree in marketing.