Following their sports careers, many athletes continue their passions and stay involved through coaching younger teams. In this case, Jake Tobin, a former baseball player, returned to coaching at his alma mater, Godwin.
Not only is he a former student-athlete from Godwin, but he is also the brother of Justin “Juice” Tobin, who is currently a junior on the Godwin Varsity Baseball team. This is Juice’s third year on varsity, and Jake’s first year as an assistant coach at Godwin. However, this is not Jake’s first gig as an assistant baseball coach.
Coaching is not Jake’s only job. He is involved with Prep Baseball Report doing scouting reports and he also helps people at Gold’s gym where he also works.
Baseball was not always easy for Jake growing up. While he played at Godwin his freshman and sophomore years on junior varsity, his career was cut short. He had multiple ACL injuries and eventually his knees gave out.
“Unfortunately I dealt with knee injuries during my high school career and it led to me having to give up playing earlier than I intended which led to me wanting to stay involved in any way that I could. That answer was coaching,” said Jake.
Jake started coaching at RBA (Richmond Baseball Academy) West, while he was in high school. Then, he was able to coach at his other alma mater, Pocahontas Middle School. That was the first time he coached Juice, who was in seventh grade at the time. After he coached at Pocahontas, he graduated from Godwin in 2018. He later accepted a job as the head coach for Midlothian’s Junior Varsity Baseball team. After a year at Midlothian, he accepted an assistant coaching position at Godwin.
“In the off-season Coach Gentry called me and offered me a position on his staff. With how familiar I am with many of the guys on the team it was an easy choice to accept the offer,” said Jake.
When asked about why Jake wanted to come back and coach at Godwin, he responded with one word.
“Juice,” said Jake.
Coming back to Godwin led Jake to reunite with his childhood best friend, who is also his brother. They grew up doing everything from sports to wrestling each other around the house, but they mainly played baseball.
“I grew up playing baseball all the time with Juice, from going to hit at the field, to wiffle ball in the house, we did it all,” said Jake.
Growing up Juice admired Jake and always wanted to be like him.
“I looked up to Jake a lot when I was little. I would watch him everyday playing baseball and wanted to be just like him. He was the reason that I wore number four for many years,” said Juice.
When it comes to coaching Juice, Jake has to remember to hold him to the same standards as everyone else.
“I’m his older brother. I just hold the kid to a higher standard so it makes it tough. I have to always remember to treat him the same as everyone else and not be too hard on him. I’m put in an interesting and unique position when it comes to coaching him and I have to go about it very carefully,” said Jake.
However, Juice believes that Jake is definitely stricter and harder on him than other players.
“Sometimes he gets a little bit more mad at me for little things that he probably shouldn’t get mad at, but without him pushing me, I would’ve never become the player I am today,” said Juice.
While sometimes things get a little heated on the field, Jake loves coaching Juice, and Juice loves playing for Jake.
“To summarize [coaching Juice] all up, I love coaching him, that is my dude,” said Jake.
Outside of baseball they’re still close. They often go out to eat and hangout whenever their schedules match. Spending a lot of time together leads Jake to help Juice outside of baseball and is always giving Juice life tips.
“Jake is a huge influence on how I am today. He is always helping me out and I’ve always wanted to be like him my whole life because he’s my role model,” said Juice.