The Clovis North football program has turned to Mike Jacot to help turn around a program that desperately needs stability.
Jacot, the former head coach at Buchanan from 2013-15 where his teams improved from 1-11 to 3-9 to 7-4 with a TRAC co-championship, has spent the last three years as an assistant coach at Clovis East with head coach Ryan Reynolds.
But when Clovis North Athletic Director Coby Lindsay reached out to Jacot about the opening, he was interested but not without hesitation.
“Coby reached out me and asked if I was interested but at the time I was very comfortable with Clovis East and what Ryan [Reynolds] was doing,” Jacot said. “When he reached out to me I started thinking.”
The timing had to be perfect, and the 43-year old ultimately decided he was ready to be a head coach again.
“I was ready for another challenge,” he added. “When you have an administration looking for a new head coach of any sport they have a vision of what they are looking for personality-wise, and I fit that mold of what they were looking for.”
Jacot replaces Benny Martinez, who went 4-17 the last two seasons, and will be the program’s fifth head coach in nine years that includes Cory Hall (2011-13), Tim Simmons (2014-15) and Casey Quinn (2016).
Jacot relocated to Clovis in 2013 from Orange County where he coached at Santa Margarita High School of the Trinity League, widely considered one of the top leagues in the nation, for eleven years. He coached two years at Orange Lutheran before taking the Buchanan job.
Known to be a tireless worker in the weight room, Jacot said he learned a lot during his three years at Buchanan—both what to do and what not to do—and will take a more relational approach to coaching this time around.
“It was challenging, but it definitely helped and prepared me and gave me an opportunity to reflect and put things in perspective,” Jacot said about his time at Buchanan. “And here I am with another opportunity and ready to take full advantage of it.
“The biggest thing is focusing on the players and athletes. When you come in as a new head coach that takes precedence. Building trust and a relationship with them is first and foremost.”
Jacot is grateful for his three years at Clovis East with Reynolds, where in two years the once great program has been restored.
“He really made the players feel important and instilled a belief back in them,” Jacot said. “That’s the thing that I look at with Clovis North right now. They’ve gone through a little bit of transition and need consistency and some confidence back.”
Right now Jacot is splitting time at the Clovis East and Clovis North campuses and expects to have a coaching staff assembled in the near future.
“It’s a good group of kids over there with some good athletes and good players to work with,” Jacot said. “It’s getting them to believe and perform. It’s not like we are walking into a situation where the cupboard is bare, we have a group that we can work with right now that we are excited about.”