JaMarcus Shephard is unlike any other football coach you’ll meet at Montlake.
Oh, there was the crazy University of Washington assistant or coordinator before him, that over-excited guy like the late Jim Lambright, who could have stuck his nose in a University of Washington exercise and pulled out one bit bloody.
Shephard is the Huskies’ new receivers coach and a man who strongly believes in bringing a self-involved approach to the job.
He’s the grown man often seen in a full sprint, running alongside his much younger players, providing racing commentary as he goes.
Who needs a cinematic study when you have Shephard, in tune with you, critiquing every piece in real time?
He has a totally unique style that will last as long as he is physically able to keep up.
“I take pride in trying to show them the technique that they would potentially see from defensive backs, but also, you know, helping them out and showing them the technique that I want them to use,” Shephard said. “I will spend the extra time making it work, even if I need to be in better shape.”
Everything seems to be working so far for this Indiana native who came to the Huskies from Purdue on Kalen DeBoer’s new staff. Unlike his other new coaches, he had the added challenge of replacing the coach the players least wanted to see go – Junior Adams, now at Oregon.
Shephard, an All-America receiver from a small college in DePauw, is the guy whose voice can be heard above all the other coaches, whose distinctive cackle echoes through the Husky stadium, much like the ever-swirling wind widespread.
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He gets so close to each player that you have to ask him if he’s ever bumped into one by accident.
“No,” he replied, before reconsidering. “Well, probably yes.”
On a daily basis, he covers more ground on the Astroturf than any of his UW pass-catchers, so full of boundless energy. His Husky players say they appreciate his close dedication to them. He says he can’t go on forever.
“I think guys appreciate that I’m not just telling them but showing them techniques that I want them to use,” Shephard said. “I try to run these builds and show them how it’s done, but I’m starting to age a bit and lose a step.”
Of course, this is debatable.
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