SHORE REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICSHALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1998-2006John "Jake" JeffreyCoach 1962 - 1970
In September of 1962, Shore Regional High School opened its doors for the first time. As with any new school, there was not tradition or measure of excellence to uphold, only the beginning of a new era and a need for people to lead. One of those staff members who created the Blue Devil spirit was “The Coach”, Jake Jeffrey.
Jake began his teaching career as a physical education instructor in Zanesfield, Ohio and Long Branch, NJ. Upon arriving at Shore in 1962, he became the school’s first head basketball coach and brought the program into the Shore Conference. Among his many athletes, Jake coached Shore’s first one thousand point scorer, Peter Berger. He continued to pilot the program during its early years and in 1965, the team had a record of 18-6.
Jake became the school’s second head football coach in 1965 and in 1966, his team captured the conference championship. He continued to head the program until 1970.
But if you associate Jake with Shore Regional and the shore area’s sports scene, his exploits as the Blue Devil’s first baseball coach and the nine years that followed are legendary. Jake’s teams had an overall record of 132-65, with four conference championships and captured the first two prestigious Monmouth College Invitational Tournaments. Led by All-State and future professional player Fred Kampf, his Blue Devil squads were always regarded as one of the elite shore area teams. During Jake’s tenure as baseball coach, the tradition of Shore baseball and the school’s athletic tradition had taken hold. Honored by local writers in 1970, Jake was named the Baseball of Coach of the Decade by the Asbury Park Press.
Jake left Shore Regional in 1970 to continue his coaching and career pursuits in Ohio. But wherever he went, success surely did follow. He coached football at Ridgemont High School and his teams won three conference championships and Jake was named the South Western Ohio Coach of the Year in 1976.
Jake’s leadership abilities were not confined only to the athletic field as he was the Principal of Ridgemont High School for seventeen years and a member of the Bellefontaine city council for five years.
Shore’s 1966 yearbook was dedicated to Jake and part of the inscription reads, “During the past four years, we have all come to know Mr. John “Jake” Jeffrey as a teacher, as a coach, and as a friend. He has gained our respect and admiration through our contacts with him in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in public.” The quote continues, “During his four year association with Shore Regional, Mr. Jeffrey has become the keystone of our school spirit. He is the spark that makes Shore Regional come alive.”
Jake was “The Coach” to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He blazed the early footsteps of a new high school, established a tradition, and his baseball teams and coaching exploits during the 1960’s are remembered throughout the shore. Jake Jeffrey is what athletics are all about and we are proud to make him one of the cornerstones of the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jake currently resides in Bellefontaine, Ohio and has been the County Commissioner for Logan County for the past twelve years.