Around the Region

Urban trying to teach Trinity back to prominence

Top, Trinity athletics photo; Bottom, 2002 D3sports.com file photo by Robert Anderson

Trinity was accustomed to a position atop the SCAC and Division III in the state of Texas from the early ’90s to the mid 2000s, with 13 consecutive conference titles (’93-’05), and national recognition, with two NCAA semifinals and a Stagg Bowl appearance in 2002. Jerheme Urban, who was part of that run from 1999-03, wants to return to that position and do it in his own way.

The former Trinity record-setting wide receiver and NFL veteran of nine seasons, took over for the Tigers’ longtime coach Steve Mohr, who, as Urban tells it, essentially started the program.

“When he got here, you know, the numbers were in the 30s as far as total guys on the roster, and they hadn’t won a lot of football games. So he had to go through a little bit of a process there to get the program how he wanted it and obviously established a strong winning tradition within the state of Texas that then took on a national presence for a good while,” Urban said.

Having played for Mohr and having always wanted to be a coach, Urban made an effort to watch his college coach and learn the basic responsibilities and skills of a head football coach. Urban learned about the administrative side of running a football program, the logistics – scheduling flights and buses – and how to interact with assistant coaches, managing people as a teacher or principal might. As any mentor might instill in his pupil, Mohr certainly passed on a sense of “Tiger pride,” as Urban put it.

But while Mohr’s influence looms large over the program and, of course, over Urban, the Tigers’ new head man wants to make sure to keep the past and the future in perspective.

“I have to be cognizant of the fact that this is my program, and we’re going to do it how I want to do it, and not be too worried about the past and making sure we’re moving in the direction that we want to go now.”

That direction, that style, that philosophy is what Urban calls stern love. By that he means expecting excellence and accountability, striving for greatness and discipline while being concerned with his players’ growth as men. Urban expounded on that thought by saying, “What I want to leave with my players is a true investment in them as young men more so than the football side of it.”

It was Urban’s NFL experience and the profound and, in certain cases, legendary coaches he played under who forged his style and made him the coach he is. Mike Holmgren, who Urban played for in Seattle, was an exemplary leader. “He showed to me a great job of delegation. That was one thing I took from him. He really trusted his assistants, and he really let them work.”

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Columnist

Justin Goldberg

Justin Goldberg is a newspaper copy editor and freelance writer in southwest Virginia. Originally from New York, he played Division III basketball in that colder region of the country, but moved to Virginia in 2008 to earn his M.F.A. in creative writing. He has written for multiple publications, including C-VILLE Weekly and The Roanoke Times. He is happy to join D3football.com for his first season as the Around the South columnist..
2013 columnist: Andee Djuric
2012 columnist: Kyle Robarts
2008-11 columnist: Jason Bowen

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