“COACH JAKE”— Passion and Imperfection

“Coach Jake”

Passion and Imperfection

Amos Lassen

Martin “Coach Jake” Jacobson is in his 70s and he is the most winning high school coach in New York City history. However, this coming year might be the toughest one he has to face, both on the soccer field and off. Coach Jake is dealing with a rapidly advancing liver disease and he is no longer young. Documentary filmmaker Ian Phillips shows us that Jake’s legacy as a winner is on the line as the clock on his life and career begin to come to an end.

Coach Jake is a passionate and imperfect coach. He is at New York City’s Martin Luther King High School where he a guidance counselor and coaches the soccer team. He is a former heroin addict now living with hepatitis C virus (HCV and he now shares his story of redemption, recovery and championship.

When he took over the school’s down-and-out soccer team (which is made up of immigrants from West Africa, the Caribbean and South America as well as Americans), he helped to win 16 citywide championship teams. The film shows Jacobson’s redemption and fulfillment through his team, and how he overcame drug addiction and became the great soccer coach that he is.

Coach Jake is also admired in his community for his commitment to social justice and serving underprivileged youth. He has helped several players get housing in city group home, green cards, college scholarships and professional league positions and what makes this so interesting is that the school has no soccer field. 

What a beautiful and inspiring story this is. It plays to the emotions and wins over its audience from the moment that it begins.

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