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HOME SWEET HOME: Cascade hires Carkuff to lead football program

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2024 at 8:46 pm

Post Photo by Chris Siers Cascade has hired former Champion quarterback Jared Carkuff as the next head football coach.

The last time Jared Carkuff stepped on the field at the Stable, he was the starting quarterback during his senior season for the Champions.
This fall, he returns to the Stable, but will be calling plays from the sidelines as Cascade’s new head coach.
“It feels so nice to be up here in person and starting to feel like it’s actually happening. We couldn’t be happier to be closer to family and friends,” Carkuff said.
Carkuff made his stamp during his high school years with the Champions, guiding Cascade to the second-round of the Class 2A playoffs his senior season, and then leading the Champion baseball team to the Class A state baseball tournament.
From there, Carkuff continued his baseball career, pitching for Austin Peay, as well as working his way into the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
While he pursued a path in baseball, his heart always called him back to the sidelines on Friday nights.
“I’ve always been a football guy. We’re a football family. I’m the only one who really took football further than really middle school. Dad coached 42 years. I always knew if I got into coaching, it would be football. As soon as I retired from baseball, I wanted to go get a football job,” he said.
Following a rehab stint after a shoulder surgery, Carkuff decided to walk away from baseball and it wasn’t long after that his coaching career started at Hickman County.
“I had shoulder surgery in 2018. I got traded from the Blue Jays to the Padres. I had surgery and was recovering for about six months, then me and my wife sat down and said it’s probably time. That fall, I was in Hickman County,” Carkuff said.
Following the stop in Hickman County, Carkuff found himself on the staff at Collins Hill, Ga., and was a key factor in the success there.
“So I was in Georgia at Collins Hill for two years and we had a lot of success there. Our offensive line coach and one of my best friends got the head coaching job in South Carolina. He brought me in as the offensive coordinator,” he added.
While his coaching career is still in its early days, Carkuff has seen all sorts of offenses and is ready to put his mark on Champion football.
“I’m a spread guy, but I ran the Wing-T. We ran kind of a hybrid towards the end of my high school career. I’ve done a single wing at Hickman County and we did a true college spread at Collins Hill and we’ve been a little more of a hybrid at Bluffton (SC).”
“Really, it’s just whatever works. If I have six receivers, I’m going to find a way to rotate six receivers and get them the ball. If I have big linemen, we’re going to find a way to be good in the run game. Either way, it’s going to be pretty balanced, depending on what defenses give you.”
While often, coaching searches can extend well into the summer months, Carkuff gets to work a full complement of spring practices, as well as a full summer.
“I get here April 8 officially, and we’ll hit the ground with meetings and installing everything. Our first practice is April 29,” he said.
With a baseball career that guided him to two Major League Baseball organizations, and stops at Hickman County, Collins Hill and Bluffton, there hasn’t been a lot of time for Carkuff to revisit his old stomping grounds over the years.
“Now that I’m here, I’m driving around and seeing everything I remembered and how everything has changed—It’s been about 12 years since I’ve been back,” he said.
“It’s really good to see the growth, but also staying true to what it is. It was really good seeing everything just how I remembered it.”