There’s a new coach at the University of Alabama, and no, he’s not taking over Nick Saban’s job. Red-shirt freshman and third-string quarterback Mac Jones has grabbed the clipboard this season to coach Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) in intramural flag football.
Not only that, but thus far, Jones is leading the sorority to an undefeated season with Anna McCormick under center.
He’s not the only Crimson Tide player to coach in the Greek system either. Running back Damien Harris and tight end Irv Smith Jr. are in on the action as “celebrity coaches” as well.
“They get excited,” McCormick told AL.com. “And it’s more excited than you would ever think about an intramural sport. It’s joking around, it’s not all serious because it’s obviously an intramural, but it shows you can have fun and work hard and win at the same time. It’s just a good experience.”
Jones even designed about a dozen offensive plays for his team, and made McCormick a traditional wristband with the plays so she can easily direct her teammates while in the huddle.
McCormick, who was the only girl on her flag football team while in elementary school, and her teammates have a weekly practice on Sunday nights. They schedule an hour-long session each week, but with an ultra-competitve Jones at the helm, sometimes things shift.
“But we’ve had a practice go two hours,” McCormick said, “because we get caught up in wanting to try new things and the guys get excited and we want to keep trying other things because we remember what shut us down in the last game and what we heard about this team we’re playing next. They know what they’re doing.”
In addition to helping McCormick with her footwork and throwing mechanics, Jones makes sure the women have fun on Tuesday nights, because in the end, that’s really what it’s all about.
What’s not to love about this story of a Division I college athlete playing for one of the biggest football programs in the country, using his free time to coach up fellow students, who will one day cheer for him on Saturdays.