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.”

Com­mit­ment has

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.

School first

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.

Jas­mine Slade

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.”

A men­tor

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.

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