Vale Alumni Returns As Athletic Director

Vale coach Jeff Jacobs enters Frank Hawley Stadium before the start of the Vale - Homedale football game, September 12, 2014 at Vale High School, Vale, Oregon. Vale won 33-20 to improve their record to 2-0.

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John L. Braese

VALE – Come this fall, new Vale athletic director/vice principal Jeff Jacobs will trudge out to paint the lines on the Viking football field as part of his new duties. The task should be made easier as Jacobs will know where the pins are placed to start the process as the Vale alumni spent more than a few hours on the same field as a Viking player.

After approval by the Vale School Board on Wednesday, June 12, Jacobs takes over his new position after the retirement of Tom Snook. Just days earlier, Snook was busy cleaning out his office and desk, offering EOS files covering 30 years of golf scores!

Jacobs was raised in Vale since age 12, graduating as a Viking in 1985 before attending Western Oregon University. He later obtained a master’s degree from Boise State University.

Jacobs returned to his hometown as a teacher and started coaching in 1991, taking over head coaching duties of Vale football from 2002 through 2009. Under Jacobs, Vale appeared in two 3A championship games including the historic Nyssa versus Vale championship matchup in 2005. Prior to accepting his current position, Jacobs returned to the classroom and as an assistant coach for the Mustangs of Crane.

Married, Jacob’s children are also Vale alumni.

“It is just an honor for me to know I will only be the fourth athletic director for Vale since the 1970s,” Jacobs said. “My goal is to keep the tradition the three guys before me have built. The tradition for Vale is present because of those three professionals.”

With a list of long tenured coaches in place for the upcoming season, Jacobs said his goal is quite simple.

“How can I help is the reason I am there,” said Jacobs. “I am here for the student athletes, the school, the fans and the community.”

Vale High School is excited to see Jeff return and become part of the administrative team,” said Vale High School Principal Chad Hartley. “Jeff will jump right in and build on the great work completed by his predecessors. The success and tradition of the Vikings is in good hands with Jeff.”

One of the new athletic director’s duties will be to remove his own name from the board listing Viking track and field records. Jacobs, joined by Bob Evans, Jim Magee and Nick Bottom, saw their 1985 record time in the 4-by-100 relay be replaced this past season by Colten Stepleton, Skylar Cade, Kase Schaffeld and Spur Jacobs.

The 3A regional athletic directors of eastern Oregon will take some time to get to know each other. With the exception of McLoughlin’s Arnie Alvarez, athletic directors start the year with less than three years experience scheduling games and ordering buses.

Photo courtesy of Greg Mizuta