Student coach bolsters team
September 29, 2011
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Justin Rooney, a sophomore at Pacific, has been around the game of football his whole life and enjoyed being a part of the game enough to continue on into the coaching world. After playing his freshman year at Pacific as a Linebacker, he made the decision to hang up his spikes and pick up a headset.
A year ago, Justin was sweating with his teammates as they sprinted through conditioning. Today, he watches over them and helps to mentor them through the aspects of the game and the things life throws their way. Not only is Justin a coach, he’s someone the players can talk to, an outlet for their frustration or a friend when they are in need.
Justin prides himself in being easy to approach.
“I’m an R.A. in Clark,” said Rooney, “I’m here for [the players] on and off the field.”
Justin has many duties with the football team. One important job he has undertaken is coming in on Sundays after game-day, where he breaks down the game films with the players. This one of the most important parts of developing as a team and Rooney has embraced it, pushing the players to become better with every session.
Rooney said, “One day it’ll be the biggest part of Pacific athletics.” This is a bold statement considering the football team’s winless drought, yet he maintains confidence in his players and believes he and the rest of the coaching staff knows what they are doing and are nearing success.
Between breaking down film, getting and sending recruiting information to other coaches, and playing on the racquetball team, and maintaining leadership on the campus as an R.A., it is clear he show dedication to his cause; making others better by bettering himself, everyday.
Defensive Coordinator Jacob Yoro works closely with Justin and only had good things to say.
“We’ve got to get him more involved,” Yoro said.
Yoro is high on Rooney’s involvement with the team and is impressed by his diversity in school activities. “His getting involved with the school is a great example for the other players.”
When it comes to the success of the team, ever-optimistic. Rooney who is always optimistic said, “I’m impressed with how many fans keep coming back.” He wishes this will hold true and believes that there will be a turn around shortly, where Pacific football will put some Ws on the board.
Amidst all his activities aside from schooling, Justin is pleased with how things are going for him and plans to continue coaching, at least for a while. His exposure to the game has proven useful in many ways, and his ability to step back and look at the larger picture makes him a friend that a friend would like to have. He hopes when people pass by they won’t be afraid to say hello, and is more than happy to offer help to anyone in need.