BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/NEMCC Athletics) - Jake Landoll could not pass up an amazing opportunity to break back into the sport that has rewarded him so richly through the years.
Landoll will return to the gridiron as Northeast Mississippi Community College’s new defensive line instructor this fall after spending the last two years in the private sector.
“He had the itch and wanted to get back into coaching,” said Tigers headman Greg Davis. “Jake knows his stuff. I really feel confident in making this hire because he’s got the experience we need.
“You can always get guys motivated and you can always get guys better fundamentally. I think Jake can do that. He’s passionate about the game. He’s going to coach his tail off. We’re really excited about having him.”
Landoll most recently coached at Northwestern State (La.) University from 2013-16. He has also held positions across the Midwest at Bethel (Kan.) College, Missouri Southern State University and the University of Saint Mary (Kan.).
“My love for football never really left,” Landoll said. “I just tried to find the right fit. The second I met coach Davis everything kind of clicked. I think the first time I was in (coaching) I was always constantly looking ahead. This time I’m really going to enjoy the moment.
“My expectations are two things. First off, they’re here to graduate. That’s the number one priority. Football is not forever so they’ve got to have something to fall back on. The second part is to embrace the grind. We’re going to get after it, saw wood and come to work everyday.”
Landoll has placed multiple athletes into the professional ranks during his eight total seasons as a coach, including a pair of National Football League (NFL) Draft selections in Deon Simon and Brandon Williams.
Simon was a seventh round pick by the New York Jets in the 2015 NFL Draft. He registered 28 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one pass break up during three seasons overall in the Big Apple.
He is currently on the active roster with the Green Bay Packers. Simon was a two-year starter at defensive tackle and earned All-Southland Conference (SLC) honors twice while under the tutelage of Landoll at Northwestern State.
Williams was chosen 94th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens after honing his craft with Landoll at Missouri Southern State. He has racked up 212 tackles, including 127 solo stops, and 5.5 sacks in six years with Baltimore.
Landoll was Williams’ defensive line coach during his senior campaign in 2012. He was tabbed as the NCAA Division II Defensive Player of the Year and received All-American laurels from five different publications after posting 68 takedowns, 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles.
The Wichita, Kan., native also worked with Ryon Phillips, who garnered All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) recognition while starting 11 straight games at defensive end, during his lone season with the Lions.
Leroy Armstrong and Lesley Deamer gained All-SLC distinction along with Simon while Landoll controlled the linemen at Northwestern State. Deamer signed an undrafted free agent (UDFA) contract with the New Orleans States following his tenure with the Demons.
Another of Landoll’s understudies in JeMarcus Marshall captured NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Freshman All-American accolades from the College Sports Journal after topping Northwestern State in 2013 with 8.5 sacks.
He was the Demons’ academic and community service coordinator as well. Northwestern State student-athletes devoted more than 500 hours of labor to their surrounding areas on an annual basis thanks in part to Landoll.
His mentors include Jay Thomas, who is currently with the Tennessee Titans franchise, Texas A&M University linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto and legendary defensive line coach Pete Jenkins.
He opened his coaching career in 2009 as a graduate assistant at Saint Mary. Landoll moved to Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) rival Bethel one year later to serve in the same capacity.
Landoll was a standout athlete himself for Saint Mary from 2002-06. He was a starter on the Spires’ defensive line for three consecutive seasons and secured All-KCAC acknowledgement as both a junior and senior.
He concluded his playing days by participating in the inaugural Victory Sports Network (VSN) Senior Classic, which was a national all-star game for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) members, in April 2007 at Platte City, Mo.
Landoll has held jobs outside of coaching with the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the now-defunct Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League (AFL) in their sales departments. He interned with the San Diego Bowl Game Association as well.
He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Saint Mary. Landoll and his wife Bekkah have three children, Greyson (9), Laila (4) and Lincoln (6 months).