Jarvis reflects on coaching career
Coach reflects on the Blue Jays, getting started, being committed
Depending when you talk to him, you’re likely to encounter one of two variations of local basketball coach Ed Jarvis.
There is the Jarvis who has coached girls basketball in the region since 1995, demands commitment from his players, chews four pieces of Juicy Fruit gum in championship games and meticulously prepares practice schedules during the season.
Then there’s the Jarvis who takes a less structured approach to coaching and shuns the high-action NBA and the NHL playoffs for the snails pace of regular season major league baseball. A Toronto Blue Jays fan, the Carbonear Collegiate history teacher absorbs information on his favourite club at a rapid pace.
Catch him on the right day and Jarvis will dazzle you with his theories on the game, what the Jays should do next and where they need the most help.
“Is ( Jose) Reyes made of glass?” he asked of the oft-injured Jays shortstop nonchalantly prior to sitting down with The Compass. “He is always hurt.”
Jarvis gets animated talking about America’s pastime. His face lightens up and his arms start churning as he discusses the merits of good starting pitching and hitting mechanics.
“(Baseball) is on every night,” said Jarvis of his love for the game. “I’ll watch a regular season baseball game over playoff hockey or basketball anytime. A baseball game in the middle of July is as exciting for me to watch as anything.”
But, that’s during the summer. Prior to the warmer season, Jarvis is a successful teacher of basketball.
In the past two years, he has guided the Carbonear Collegiate Lady Sentinels to three provincial titles, including back-to-back AAAA tier II championships.
However, it wasn’t always like that.
Learning as he goes
Hailing from Harbour Breton, Jarvis grew up on volleyball and not hoops. Even when he started teaching at St. Francis in the early 90s, he was coaching everything from volleyball to table tennis.
“I coached everything under the sun,” he said.
He tried to build a volleyball program at the Harbour Grace school, but basketball was king. In 1994, the all-female St. Clare’s integrated with St. Francis, creating a new opportunity for Jarvis. That’s when he and Sean Cashin started a female program.
Taking the girls team, Jarvis started his successful foray into high school basketball.
“I decided that if you can’t beat them, join them,” said Jarvis. Learning from the likes of contemporaries Cashin and Cy Simmons, he started devouring game knowledge. YouTube didn’t exist in those days, so he was reading whatever he could on basketball.
“I didn’t have a clue about basketball. I was a volleyball per- son,” said Jarvis. “I wanted to learn and I got a lot from Sean and Cy.”
to be there
There is an overriding philosophy that players have to buy into if they want to play for one of Jarvis’ teams.
They have to bring as much commitment to the team as he is going to.
“I’m going to be here every practice, I will not cancel a practice unless it is for weather,” said Jarvis. “I’m going to be here and I’m going to commit to the team and I expect the same from you.”
To their credit, the players bought in.
It is more than just basketball with Jarvis. His players are student-athletes and school comes first. He makes sure they’re doing their best in school. Jarvis said that doesn’t mean a player has to pull 100s across the board, but just work hard in the classroom.
“If 50 is your best, but you’re working your butt off, that is your best.”
There are no many coaches out there who would do what he does. If it wasn’t for him, I would just be playing sports for sports, but basketball is life nowadays.
He checks up on how his players are doing regularly, makes himself available for tutoring at any time, even before practice. When the team is on the road, he’ll help with homework if a player wishes.
“School is the most important thing, basketball is secondary,” said Jarvis. “If you want to play basketball, you need to be doing your best in school.”
To his players, Jarvis is more than just a basketball coach. For the likes of Jasmine Slade, he is a mentor who just happens to coach the game she loves.
“There are no many coaches out there who would do what he does,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him, I would just be playing sports for sports, but basketball is life nowadays.”
It is for that reason his players nominated Jarvis for Harbour Grace’s Volunteer of the Year award, which he won.
“( Jarvis) is so dedicated to his work. He is always here and it is all volunteer,” said Slade.
Looking back, Jarvis is thankful for the support he receives from players and parents alike. Every time the team travels, there are plenty of supporters from parents to siblings in the stands.
“Every away game is like a home game for us,” he said.
Carbonear Collegiate female basketball coach Ed Jarvis speaks with players prior to practice.
Carbonear Collegiate female basketball coach Ed Jarvis (centre) has been hailed as a mentor by his players.