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Poth shares title with other Marshall defensive coaches

By Nathan Hague
Aug. 26, 2017 at 4 a.m.

Marshall defensive coordinator Jarry Poth instructs his players during practice.

Jarry Poth might have the title of defensive coordinator for the Marshall Mavericks, but he's not about to keep it for himself.

On the field during one of the team's football practice, he points to linebackers coach Aaron Babino, then defensive line coach Anthony Randle, and any other defensive coaches in site and says, "He's a defensive coordinator."

"We've got great coaching," Poth said. "We're all defensive coordinators. No one person is better than the other one. It's all important."

Perhaps that's a mentality he learned from his dad, who was also his high school football coach.

"My brother is an offensive coordinator in Houston," he said. "My dad coached for 44 years. My sister is a teacher and my other sister is a teacher. We're a family of educators. I grew up in a field house.

"Anytime I make a mistake, he calls me and lets me know," Poth added of his dad. "As soon as we put the film up, he's calling me. He'll let me know what I did right and what I did wrong but usually it's not what I did right but what I did wrong. It's 'yes dad I know. We're getting better and we're trying.'"

His dad served as a head coach for eight years and spent a lot of time as offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, much like Marshall's new defensive coordinator.

"I've been an offensive coordinator in college and high school both, so I have a little bit of knowledge of what people are doing on offense."

He also played quarterback on the collegiate level, and realized that he too, like his dad, wanted to be a coach.

"I went to Sul Ross State," he said. "I went to Bethel College and played college football there for two years and figured out I wasn't good enough. I figured out those guys are a lot better than I am."

He's been a coach for nearly 20 years and said the highlights come from what happens off the field.

"It's all about teaching those kids life lessons and life skills that you carry on past high school and into college, seeing those kids graduate college, having their own families and going to their weddings, that's a lot of fun," Poth said. "For me a highlight is not winning a big game or anything like that. It's seeing a kid a graduate from college. There's more satisfaction from seeing them grow up and become successful."

Poth added he has high expectations for the Mavericks in 2017.

"We have some really good players," he said. "I'm really excited. Rashard Jackson is really good our defensive tackle. Marje Smith is really good on the end. Jay Hall is really good on the other end. Tre Macon is a really good football player. Cortez (Hurd) is a really good football player and so is Brevin Randle, so we have some really good football players.

"We want to be the best so that's what I expect, to be the best defense around," Poth added. "I'm very excited. We have some very good players. They're trying to learn a new system so it's a little bit different but we're learning and we're getting better."

He said his players have done a good job to adapting a new coaching staff.

"It's definitely different but they're doing the best they can," he said. "The kids are working hard at it. They've done a really good job of adapting to all the coaching."

Poth and the Mavericks are slated to kick off the season Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they play host to the Tyler Lee Red Raiders at Maverick Stadium.

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