FAMU DRS honors legendary coach Harry Jacobs

FAMU DRS honors legendary coach Harry Jacobs
Posted at 9:41 AM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 09:41:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A legend in life, Harry Jacobs was a pioneer within track and field in the Big Bend.

"In athletics, I guess he is responsible for over thousands of kids getting into college who otherwise would have never even thought about going, and people in general, he was an inspiration, because he was Coach Jake," said Sylvester Peck Sr, who was coached by Jacobs. "He told you what you were going to be, and you believed that and he got you out there and you worked until you achieved it."

"I've never heard him scream at anybody," added FAMU DRS principal, Dr. Pink Hightower. "He just had a way of being passionate about what he did and what he wanted his students to achieve."

More than just a coach or a teacher, the Hall of Famer was a mentor who cared about every single person he came across, and this past week, Coach Jacobs passed away at 81 years of age.

Harry Jacobs played a major role in building the track & field program at Jefferson County, and from 1980-1996, Coach Jacobs helped lead FAMU DRS to 13 state titles. But the legend also found success on the gridiron, winning more than 130 games as a head coach.

Coach Jacobs was a champion through and through, and that is how he will be remembered. Sure, a legendary coach, but it was his big heart that made him the champion he was in life.

"He cared, now one of the biggest things that you need to know about him is that he cared," said Peck. "There is no such thing as a bad kid, every kid had value, and he made them feel like they had value."

Even now, FAMU DRS is a small school, but he used what he had and he used it to it's advantage," added FAMU DRS head girls basketball coach Ericka Cromartie. "He had a way with students, so they wanted to go to bat for him. They wanted to play for Coach Jake, that is what we called him, Coach Jake, and we knew that he genuinely cared for all of his students, but not even just student athletes, but students in general."

"I think it was the fact that he was a one in a lifetime individual, that touched all of our lives in a very special way," added Hightower.

A great man, who will be honored with a celebration at Jefferson County High School on Thursday.