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Leadership University

The Young Mike Jay

Young Mike Jay

I wore #11, because my favorite number 7 was taken.  I should have insisted, but I didn’t want to get the number from senior Tim Trimiere smiley

I got a scholarship to play football at Hiram Scott College, literally up the ditch bank from where I lived.

I received more basketball and baseball scholarships… and as I’ve mentioned Darrell Royal thought I was too small and too slow — NOT A MAJOR COLLEGE TALENT. smiley

After competing for and winning the starting quarterback job — I was recruited for defense, FYI. The private school’s president embezzled and left with a large state of money causing athletics to be halted. All scholarships ended after we beat Chadron State College (the local rival), the team went 6-2-1 and was invited to a bowl which we could not attend. smiley

I tossed a 7-yard pass and our tight end ran for a 93-yard touchdown, the longest in stadium history. smiley

Upon finding myself out of a job, I was recruited by Wyoming and Weber State, and Northern Colorado — since I was a Wyoming high school player and narcissistic, I assumed that I would prove to them they made a mistake by not recruiting me the first time, since we (A) had gone undefeated my senior year and were ranked #3 in state — #1 Laramie (AA) refused to play that year….smiley

I had around 1500 yards total offense for 8 games (didn’t play the first game with a broken finger — another story for another time…  It’s the only game we almost lost 12-7) and I only played half the time because we scored an average 48 pts a game (93-7; 70-0 homecoming in blizzard, etc)

I went to Wyoming with big hopes, but they didn’t give me a chance at QB which they promised (I soon realized how college sports manipulate players). But undeterred, I intercepted 2 passes in a spring game and ran one back for a touchdown. After the game I went to head coach Fritz Shurmur’s Office and turned in my cleats!

I next went to the mountains, cut wood, lived like Thoreau (only, my mother’s house wasn’t through the woods for a nice Sunday meal), fought a forest fire, learned to drive a caterpillar, and learned firsthand how it feels to face death in a crown fire. 

Later, I went home to Torrington, got an apartment, as it was the first time I hadn’t played football since 6th grade… and became a bull rider (another story) and in November of 71, I joined the marines. Christmas in boot camp, now that is stupid. smiley

I did well — series honor man and dress blues winner (got married on 4th of July 1974 in my dress blues — go figure), and went to admin school = Remington raiders!

Finished first — my mother forced me to go to summer typing classes in high school and I was the only boy.

That’s another story about the best summer of high school, maybe I’ll share later, or not. smiley  Thanks Mom! smiley

Upon finishing first, I got my choice of duty stations. I decided to go to legal school and finished 2nd.  I got my choice of duty stations again and no promotion because I got PFC in boot camp and lance corporal in admin school, which was automatic for top finishers. But I had been in the marine corps 6 months and they wouldn’t give me my promotion to corporal (that came at 13 months after football season in 72′). smiley

I chose to go to Subic Bay, a rearward staging area for Vietnam, but it was said to be the best duty station in the USMC.

Two weeks before shipping out, the all-marine football circus came to town.  Long story short, I was one of the 950 marines chosen to go to Quantico for 3 days in August — no Subic Bay.  I didn’t make it to Subic Bay until 2009, before I was planning to take up residence in Kuala Lumper. smiley

I was recruited by 50 schools coming off my first year and the last — defense appropriations cut — now I’m 3 programs in… and I decided since I was still a “cowboy” — a lover, a fighter, and now a wild bull rider — that I would be a veterinarian and where else but the #1 vet school in the world. smiley

Assistant coach Dan Lagrasta saw a 1×1 clipping of me running for a 70-yard touchdown and passing for 2 in our USMC win over Xavier in our farewell game and tracked me down, recruited me — I stayed in his house — and the rest is history.

They put a provision in my scholarship that I couldn’t rodeo anymore. smiley  I had a PRCA [Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association] card because military were allowed to ride in ProRodeo. So, I did ride against some of the best. I have a picture somewhere of me in San Diego aboard WASP, a big bull who was ranked and at the time Larry Mahan was riding. It was great fun.

Ok, those are the facts as I remember them. smiley


PS: The following is a news clip of our Texas A&M 1975 season:

The 1975 Texas A&M Aggies football team represented Texas A&M University during the 1975 NCAA Division I football season. The team was ranked second in the nation late in the season before losing its last two games. The Aggies finished as Southwest Conference co-champions with both the Texas Longhorns and the Arkansas Razorbacks. The three co-champions each finished with a 10–2 overall win–loss record and a 6–1 record against Southwest Conference opponents.

Season summary:

The 1975 Aggie football team started its season with ten wins. Its tenth victory came on the day after Thanksgiving Day (Friday, November 28, 1975) over the Texas Longhorns at Kyle Field before a national television audience (ABC). The Aggies were ranked second in the nation after the game against Texas, but starting quarterback Mike Jay suffered a back injury in the 20-10 win over the Longhorns. The next game came eight days later, a Saturday, December 6, matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks that had been rescheduled from its typical early November timeframe due to TV scheduling concerns. With Jay injured, Texas A&M backup quarterback David Shipman was called upon to play against Arkansas, who was ranked 18th in the nation. The Aggies were trailing 7–0 at halftime and they lost by a final score of 31–6.

Before the loss at Arkansas, Texas A&M had appeared to be headed for the Cotton Bowl. Instead, the sixth-ranked team faced the unranked USC Trojans in the Liberty Bowl. USC had been ranked in the top five teams nationally in early November, but they struggled late in the season and came into the bowl game with a 7-4 record. The Aggies suffered a 20–0 loss and finished the season ranked #11. The 1975 Liberty Bowl was the final game for USC coach John McKay, as his success had earned him a job with the NFL expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

PPS: This is Gary.If you would like to read how Mike’s Texas A&M Aggies lost their last two games, just send a short note to me at support@leadu.com and I will put it in my next newsletter.

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    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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