Amid the din of discussions and stories being recounted at the 2018 Manchester University Kickoff Classic golf outing Saturday, July 28, one reflection may well have stood out more than any other.
As 2004 graduate Greg Jarrett and his foursome played their way around Stonehenge Golf Course on a perfect summer's day in Warsaw, Ind., he noted another unique path … this one into his role as assistant coach for receivers at Manchester High School. He had worn the Black and Gold of the Spartans, playing in the same position now where he leads others, highlighted by a senior campaign that included being the leading rusher, ranking second in receiving yards and being first in touchdowns in route to all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors for former coach Dave Harms' team. After graduating in the spring of 2004, Jarrett gradually "found" his way back to North Manchester for his duties with the Squires.
"I never envisioned [the route from college player to high school coach in the same town], but I remember the high school playing at Burt Field [during my college days]," Jarrett said of his progression from Spartans student-athlete to Squires coach. "I'm not originally from the area, but it's nice to be back and have things come full circle. Being a part of the process of our [Manchester High School] players moving on (to college) is great and one of the things I enjoy about coaching [in high school]. However, it's especially nice when they decide to go to Manchester University."
"[One of the reasons I feel that way] is because of the camaraderie and friendship I look back at from my time [at Manchester]," he added. "It continues today. Every opportunity in which my former teammates and I are back together [no matter for what], we seem to pick back up [where we left off]. I cherish those relationships, and I know [the high school student-athletes] will, too."
Jarrett has also been able to pick up sage coaching philosophy from his collegiate days. "When I first started [in high school coaching], I was yelling, and screaming asking players 'Why did you do this?' and so on," he reflected. "As I get older, I see Coach Harms coming out in the way I do things … a little more laid back and trying not to be so stressed out. He was always happy-go-lucky and didn't seem to have any stress at all. There's been that switch and understanding from me, too."
"Honestly, there are times where I wish I knew then what I knew now as a coach about what it takes and the amount of work you have to put in to be successful [in the sport]," he added. "There were some days [at Manchester University] where I could have benefitted from that knowledge."
As Jarrett and the rest of the golf outing crowd listened to the thoughts of current head coach Nate Jensen about the current state of the program later in the evening, Jarrett couldn't help but have a smile creep across his face.
"[Nate] is working hard to get good young student-athletes into his system," he said. "He's got [the program] going into a great direction, and you can see and hear at an event like this and also from fellow high school coaches. [The staff at Manchester University] continues to work hard to reach new heights. It's fun to see it grow as an alum and coach."
Growing much like the Crawfordsville, Ind., native has from his first days in North Manchester during the late summer of 2000 to now.