E.A. Sports Today

Special bond

The bond between a coach and a player is unique, but when that coach is your father it’s extra special on both sides

Jacksonville quarterback Jim Ogle walks across the field during a 7-on-7 tournament at Gadsden City earlier this summer. On the cover, Ogle and his dad Jimmy Ogle discuss strategy during last week’s game against Alexandria. (Cover photo by Necorra Harris)

By Mark Everett Kelly
For East Alabama Sports Today

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, thanks for the ball, dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw, I said-a, not today
I got a lot to do, he said, that’s okay

JACKSONVILLE – Harry Chapin wrote these words in 1974 for what became one of the biggest hits of the decade. The song tells the irony of a father-son relationship.

FRIDAY: Handley
at Jacksonville,
7 p.m.

WDNG-FM (95.1)

While high school football in Alabama wasn’t the motivation for “Cats in the Cradle,” father and son memories are built every week at Jacksonville High School. Junior quarterback Jim Ogle is a natural passer, gifted with a sensational rocket arm and legs which consistently avoid defenders. Dad Jimmy coaches the offensive line and, in a pinch like last week, calls the offense his son runs.

The 2022-23 football season marks the first time this century dad Jimmy isn’t coaching at nearby Jacksonville State University. This summer, Jacksonville High School coach Clint Smith hired him as offensive line and strength coach and now father and son share a unique bond and special opportunity to combine their talents.

“It’s really special,” QB Jim said. “Me and him have always talked about it since I was little, him being able to coach and me play for him. Now that it’s happening, now especially when I’m still in high school, it’s really great.”

“It’s really cool to see him and talk to him on the sidelines and (see) just how he manages the game, how he manages and processes information and how we communicated about it, it’s just so much fun for me,” dad Jimmy added. “Watching him grow up and now to see him as he’s growing as a football player and as a young man, it’s more than I ever thought it could be.”

They got some real one-on-one gametime last Friday against Alexandria. Offensive coordinator Jamison Edwards fell sick, putting the elder Ogle in position to signal in plays for his son at QB. 


After their game last week at Alexandria, a 24-10 win in which QB Jim threw two touchdown passes, coach Jimmy said he was having “the most fun I’ve ever had in my whole life” calling plays for and coaching his son. Edwards will be back in his regular role this week when the fourth-ranked Golden Eagles host No. 2 Handley in their region opener.

“This was something we have talked about since he was little and joked about what if I played for you one day, and then it happened…it was an amazing night,” Jimmy said. “I hope that every coach who has a son or a daughter and whatever their sport they get an opportunity to coach their kids because it’s really an amazing experience.” 

It’s hard to argue the results for the duo after defeating Boaz and rival Alexandria by a combined score of 51-17 with Jim completing just under 60 percent of his attempts for 396 yards  6 TD and no interceptions. They are 2-0 for the first time since 2018.


What about the chemistry in the locker room? Does Jim call him dad? Coach? Most teenagers would be uncomfortable having their dad involved with their high school experience, right? They settled that issue real quick.

“When I first started at the school we were in the weight room and he said I think I’m gonna call you coach,” Jimmy said. “I said you ain’t gonna call me coach. I’ll be your daddy til you take your last breath,. You call me dad.

“Jim’s whole life I’ve tried real hard just to be dad. I think when it hits the fan that’s when he comes to me with whatever the question might be and I just try to do the best to help him figure it out.”

He’s grown up just like me
My boy, was just like me

While the father is beaming with pride, the son continues to show why colleges across the nation will be vying for his services very soon.

A natural athlete, Jimmy had a bird’s eye view of the college experience at Tennessee in the early 1990s. Todd Helton, Heath Schuler and a freshman quarterback called Manning were teammates during his time as long-snapper under Phil Fulmer. 

“One day he’ll look back on that day and realize how special it was,” Jimmy said. “I’m not saying he didn’t appreciate it, we were both super happy, but for me when it was over, it was really special. That could have happened anywhere at any time, but that was the day and it was really awesome. And to have a bunch of my family there it made it even more special.”

For fans of the Golden Eagles, the cats are “out of the bag” hoping father and son continue to bring a “good time” this season.

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