No doubt, the biggest strength of the Pacific University football team has been the wide receiver position. Last year, the receivers contributed 18 of the Boxers’ 22 touchdowns. This season welcomes a fresh new season and a new wide receivers coach.
Coach James Yen, an alumnus of Linfield College, brings football experience both as a player and a coach to the Pacific football team.
Yen has spent the last nine seasons as Linfield’s wide receivers coach and has coached numerous players to both All-Northwest Conference and All-American honors.
The Boxers return an array of weapons on offense in the receiving corps.
Head coach Keith Buckley and other staff members have said that this wide receiver group is the deepest and most talented on the field in our division.
Following the passing of his father, coach Yen wanted to explore his options to return home to take care of family.
Yen, who is in the engineering business and the land and development business, said he did not want to move back to Hawaii without a full-time job.
In February, he informed Linfield that he would not be returning.
It came down to late spring-early summer when he received a call from Boxers’ assistant coach, Jacob Yoro, who heard that Yen was not coaching.
After a couple weeks of talking and meeting with coaches, Yen liked what he saw and became the Boxers’ new wide receivers coach. After spending the last decade at Linfield, Yen said the coaches and players are like family to him and returning to play against the Wildcats should be a fun experience.
“It’s going to be fun going back and seeing those guys,” said Yen, “I’m excited to go up and see how it is to be on the other sideline. It should be fun. It’s going to be really fun.”
The biggest difference for Yen is the youth of the Pacific football program. Linfield is an established program whereas Pacific is young and prospering, but Yen remains optimistic for the upcoming season.
“If we stay healthy and we keep working hard and getting better every single day, the sky’s the limit for this team. We have a good foundation with the coaches and a good system and good discipline and coach Buckley is doing the right thing, leading these guys in the right direction.”
The Boxers will conclude the regular season on Nov. 10 with a trip to McMinville to square off against the Linfield Wildcats.