There will be an even bigger feeling of family around the U.N.I. football team this fall. Head coach Mark Farley’s son Jake has joined the Panthers after transferring from Kansas. The younger Farley plays the same position, linebacker, that his father played for U.N.I. a generation ago, but Coach Farley says that Jake won’t be getting any breaks based on his last name.
“It’s very exciting, because one side of you is, but at the other time there has to be a separation. Once we hit the field it’s the jerseys, it’s the helmets, it’s the team. You try to get your best players on the field and try to get the most production out of them,” Farley says.
Farley says he talked to other coaches who have had their sons play for them about the experience, including former U.N.I. basketball coach Greg McDermott and Wartburg wrestling coach Jim Miller. Farley says they felt the same way going into and said they wouldn’t have wanted to miss the opportunity.
Jake Farley says that his dad has been coaching him for years, so being on the same sideline won’t be much of a change. “It’s been great, I’ve pretty much played for him my whole life, he’s been coaching me since I was little, not it’s official,” Jake Farley says. “I’m definitely excited to be part of this team and to try and help this team win games. You’re gonna get what you earn, nothing is given here. I’ve got to come out here and practice and show him I can play and fit wherever I can with this team
The Farleys and the rest of the U.N.I. squad open their season one week from Saturday at Wisconsin.
By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls