Jesse Sapolu talks about the Warriors

N = Maui News

About coaching the OL after his son Roman joined the varsity, Jesse Sapolu said:
”Last year was a big learning experience for me because I have been a player for 26 years of my life. I never really had any interest to become a coach. You respect people like coach White, who has coached here for 28 years, and their role as far as molding young men to be good citizens because 99.9 percent of these kids won’t make it to the level I made it to. These are the challenges that coach White and the coaching staff here, the influence that they have on these guys going on through their life and going on to becoming good men and good husbands – those are the things that I have learned. As far as the football, it is very basic.” (MN)

Happy to have Sapolu as an assistant coach, White said:
”Number one, he is just a great guy. But with his experience, his credibility, the kids listen when he says something. He is an imposing force just looking at him, but more important he is just a great guy and he is very humble. He doesn’t brag about himself ever. It is just great having him out here. This is his second year out here coaching and we will have him for at least one more year because his son is a junior. I know Jesse is legend in Hawaii and he is a legend in San Francisco. He is just a class guy.” (MN)

About how he doesn’t teach everything he knows, Sapolu said:
”The things that I learned when I was blocking for Joe Montana and Steve Young were all the tricks of the trade, so it is not good for these guys to learn all that stuff yet.” (MN)

About how it is difficult to coach his son, Sapolu said:
”Very tough, very tough. Because everybody knows whose son he is and the unrealistic expectations, so to speak, and it is not fair to my son, but I want him to develop his own game. The number one thing I want him to do is enjoy the game.” (MN)

”Just because I am their dad and I am an All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion doesn’t mean – my kids still look at me as their dad. They probably listen to other coaches more than they do me because I am dad. It is not as easy as people think it is. I worry a lot because if (Roman) misses a block, people are going to know, ‘That is Jesse’s son,’ and that is an unfair expectation on my son.” (MN)

About former San Diego Charger Chuck Loewen coaching his son Cole on the Lahainaluna team, Sapolu said:
”It is an exciting thing and I am sure he has the same worries. He didn’t play as long as I did, but I remember him playing in those days. I am sure he is worried about his son, but I just hope that both of our kids do well.” (MN)

Thinking about his Hall of Fame prospects, Sapolu said:
”Yeah, I think about it. I have realistic expectations because Lynn Swann and John Stallworth just went in about five years ago and there are a lot of those guys because they were such a great dynasty that is going to have to wait in line. I was one who played different positions for the San Francisco 49ers and I made All-Pro at different positions, so hopefully they take that into account. Hopefully, I am still alive if I am fortunate enough to go in.” (MN)

About how he keeps up with the Warriors, Sapolu said:
”I keep up, I really do. I went with June (Jones, Hawaii’s previous coach) and coach (Greg) McMackin to do a clinic in Samoa last month. It is good that they are all friends and help each other out. I was at the Sugar Bowl. I flew in from Cleveland, where the 49ers were playing. We were all excited. People talk about the result of the (Sugar Bowl) game, but I think it was a major step forward – for the budget, for June, for McMackin – to steal one of those BCS bids. It is a miracle to go up against schools with those kinds of budgets and that kind of backing.

I think (McMackin) will continue the success. I think the strength of coach Mack and June Jones is they understand the local mentality. The local mentality is if you are successful and very respectful and you walk around with humility, they will carry you around. If you come in and you are demanding and you are arrogant, it is not something that local people take well to. I think coach Mack is the perfect fit after June.” (MN)

About how he’s also alumni coordinator for the 49ers, Sapolu said:
”I do a lot of community relations with our corporate sponsors to make sure they stay with the team, especially with the struggles that we are going through right now. To make sure that they remember the good old days. It was 20 years of winning and just be patient. With free agency and stuff, we are trying to build a good foundation. I think we are on the right track.” (MN)

About the 49ers fans that stopped in the hotel lobby to greet him while he was being interviewed, Sapolu said:
”It makes you feel good that you made a difference in people’s lives. ‘It is a great job.” (MN)

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