Frustration brewing with young Jaguars team amid struggles on the field

1st Year Head Coach Jim Winkler looking to turn things around


Mikie Negrete

The Jaguars offense runs plays during practice on Oct. 18.

In a year filled with frustration for the Jaguars, first-year Head Coach Jim Winkler will be relying on his past experiences as a football coach at both the semi-professional and college levels; recruitment, coaching philosophy, and transparency with his players to turn things around for the football program.

Speaking on his experiences prior to him landing the job here at City, Coach Winkler said, “I was the head coach at West Valley and went over to Cabrillo as an assistant,” and when asked what made SJCC an attractive destination for him as a coach, Winkler said, “I wanted to stay in the area and become a head coach again. Recruiting is great here as well.”

It’s no secret that the Jaguars have struggled throughout the course of the season, as their 1-7 record shows.

“When you look at our roster, you’ll see eight sophomores and roughly 50 freshmen. We’ve been in pretty much every game. We need to make sure we’re not losing the games and that the other team is actually beating us,” Winkler said when discussing the team’s struggles this season.

The quality of the chemistry of the team has come into question as the season has gone on. “I think it’s pretty good from my perspective,” Winkler said, “the players might feel differently. They’re always going to have a different perception. They’re much younger than me.”

The chemistry of the team came into question when, following a loss, one of the players punched a hole in the wall of the locker room out of frustration.

“People are emotional and frustrated after the game. Yes, one of our players punched a hole in the wall. Did it help anything? Probably not. People are frustrated because we’re so close but haven’t turned the page yet,” Winkler said.

In spite of the many struggles they’ve faced this year, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Jaguars. Every game presents a new opportunity for the players to better themselves not just as athletes, but as people as well.

Coach Winkler doesn’t just look for a great football player in an individual, but a stand-up person as well, two traits that aren’t always easy to find in an individual.

“The biggest challenge for me is not having as much time as I would like to build a relationship with these students. It is a lot of football business and not a lot of personal business. It’s about getting these young men to buy in and do what we need them to do,” said Winkler, as he described what could make evaluating character difficult.

It’s been a difficult season to navigate for the Jaguars, to say the least. However, as devastating as some of the losses they’ve suffered on the field this year have been, if one approaches these losses with the right attitude, those losses become experiences that one can learn from and hopefully, build and develop a bright future for the Jaguars football program here at San Jose City College.