Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK ; State Assistant Jackson Helps US to Gold Medal

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK ; State Assistant Jackson Helps US to Gold Medal

Article excerpt

West Virginia State and linebackers coach Isaiah Jackson have yet to win any hardware in the Mountain East Conference. In fact, the turnaround of the Yellow Jackets is still an ongoing project, although last year offered plenty of evidence that the program is indeed pointed in the right direction.

Still, Jackson and former State running back Talir Satterfield- Rowe added a little something to their respective trophy cases recently - a gold medal.

Jackson served as the linebackers coach for Team USA in the International Federation of American Football World Championship held in Canton, Ohio July 9-18.

The event is held every four years and has demonstrated the immense growth of the sport worldwide as the IFAF has ballooned from 21 member nations in 2006 to 67 currently.

USA capped off its title run with a 59-12 victory over Japan in the gold-medal game.

Jackson helped captain a U.S. defense that allowed just 36 points over four games.

"It was incredible, Jackson said. "Some of the guys on the staff and I were talking about how special the experience is. In 10 or 15 or 25 years, when maybe it's an Olympic sport, we can say we were a part of that.

The IFAF has applied to make that a reality for the 2020 games in Tokyo. American football has been played in the Olympics just once, in 1932.

Jackson has been a part of the game internationally for a while now and helped coach the French team a couple of years ago.

"The difficult part was the instruction part, Jackson said. "In France, we found one or two guys that spoke English well to help us out, but coaching over there was much different.

Jackson got a chance to look at the group of players he once mentored up close as the Americans played France in the game before the Japan win and beat the French 82-0, the most lopsided score in the tournament.

But despite that tally, Jackson said the average football fan in America would be surprised at the competitiveness of other countries in the sport.

"It was kind of frustrating reading the comments after a few of the games talking about how we handled opponents, Jackson said. "An outside perspective is that it's as though these countries whipped together a football team and played in a tournament, but actually these countries have been developing it for up to 80 years now. Mexico, Germany, Japan, countries where the U.S. had heavy influence back in the '40s are the most developed right now. One of the biggest leagues is in Japan and they have really good athletes. Austria has one of the more dominant leagues out there too. IFAF literally says American Football' and people think we should go in and dominate, but it's developed to the point where I'd love to go to France or Brazil and bring some of those players down here.

"Our guys [at State] even tuned in to ESPN3 and watched and I was able to come back and tell them that there's football and good football out there. …

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