Tulsa's Jake Spavital Climbing Coaching Ladder Quickly

Wednesday, October 9th 2013, 11:48 pm
By: News On 6

In only six years of being on the sidelines, Tulsa native Jake Spavital controls one of the most explosive offensives in the country.

"We play an offense that is exciting and explosive and we put up a lot of numbers and it's been fun," said Jake Spavital, co-offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Spavital is also the quarterbacks coach at A&M and teaches and watches last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel.

"We can make bad play calls and he can make them right," Spavital said. "That's the thing about Johnny Football."

Spavital took a quick route to A&M. He started out as a quality control assistant at Tulsa, then to Houston under Kevin Sumlin and Dana Holgorsen. The Cougars averaged 42 points per game that season. Then he followed Dana Holgorsen to Oklahoma State where he helped lead an offensive attack led by Brandon Weeden. Then he followed Holgorsen to West Virginia to coach Geno Smith, and then back with Sumlin to Texas A&M. At only 28 years old, he has proven he can manage a college quarterback.

"Playing the quarterback position is such a fragile position to coach because you can't just get on them completely because they can tank and fold real easy," Spavital explained.

So far the Aggies are averaging 586 yards per game.

When asked about Manziel, who was unavailable for comment after a game against Arkansas, Spavital said he is very competitive and reminds himself of his playing days at Tulsa Union.

"I joke around that my stats grow every day with Johnny," Spavital said. "Being back at Union with that experience, I was more of a dual threat quarterback. But I wouldn't even put myself in the same sentence with Johnny Manziel."

But his father, Broken Arrow coach Steve Spavital, thinks he may be selling himself short.

"There were many occasions where he got injured and took the game over," Steve said. "And you see this with Johnny as well."

And Steve says his son always has shown he would have a bright future.

"When he was a kid he worked with playbooks, he created plays, he just has that knack for the game," Steve said. "When you watch him and see him, it doesn't surprise me at all. He's one of a kind."

And Jake sees a rapid rise in his future.

"My goal is to be a head coach, win a lot of games and win a national championship," Spavital said.

For now, two opening day NFL starters and a Heisman Trophy winner on the resume is not a bad start.