ON SPORTS: After retirement, Urban adjusts to role as college coach

June 19, 2013 at 1:19 a.m.
Updated June 20, 2013 at 1:20 a.m.

Jerheme Urban speaks to participants during his football camp in 2011. The camp, which is in its sixth year, will be held at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Jerheme Urban speaks to participants during his football camp in 2011. The camp, which is in its sixth year, will be held at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Jerheme Urban doesn't need a recruiting pitch to convince high school athletes to attend Trinity University.

Urban uses himself as an example.

Urban went to Trinity after graduating from Stroman and participated in football and track and field at the NCAA Division III school in San Antonio.

He wound up signing as a free agent with the Seattle Seahawks and also played for the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs during a nine-year NFL career.

"I understood that mindset from the moment I stepped foot on campus," Urban said. "I had a dream to play in the NFL, but my reality and my goal at the time was to get a great education and play four years of football.

"Everybody who steps on campus is academically focused. I like to use an analogy that they step on campus and they turn the sand dial over and their four years start."

Urban, 32, hoped to get into coaching after his playing career came to an end.

He was able to land a part-time position coaching the defensive backs at his alma mater last season, which gave him the opportunity to continue to work out in case a NFL team called.

"I was training full time with the mindset that I still wanted to play," Urban said. "It ended up being a great year for me to learn, especially since I'd never spent a lot of time on the defensive side since my junior year."

Urban has not officially filed retirement papers but recognized after the Super Bowl that his playing days were over.

He approached Trinity head coach Steve Mohr about the possibility of a full-time position.

Urban became the Tigers' offensive coordinator when Jason Guthrie left for a position with Millsaps College in Mississippi.

Mohr coached Urban and was happy to welcome him back to Trinity, where he still holds school records in career touchdowns scored, career receiving touchdowns, single season touchdowns and single season touchdown receptions.

Urban is also second in career receiving yards, career points scored and career kickoff return yards.

Urban was selected as the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Male Track & Field Athlete of the Year four consecutive times.

He holds Trinity records in the 400-meter dash, triple jump and the 1,600-meter relay.

Urban caught 91 passes during his professional career for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns.

He played in the Super Bowl with the Cardinals in 2009.

"I'm young from the coaching side of things," Urban said. "But I'm like an older guy because I've been around the game for 10 years. I've always approached it from a coaching standpoint as far as the cerebral side of things. I never knew how long I could play, and I wanted to coach when I was done."

Urban is well aware of the differences coaching on the Division III level, where the players do not receive athletic scholarships.

"From a coaching standpoint, it really appeals because I admire coach Mohr and respect everything he's done with the program," Urban said. "He's a great picture of stability having been here for 23 years. You don't see that type of stability at the Division I or NFL level.

"The players come to practice every day, and they're not worried about getting hurt and ruining their draft stock," he added. "There's just a purity to the game that's awesome."

Urban's biggest advice to Trinity recruits is to take the college entrance exams as many times as possible. The higher they score, the better their chances are for academic aid.

"I make a whole lot of phone calls," Urban said. "We'll send info out. Our No. 1 thing is the academics and whether they can qualify to get into school and whether they can qualify for some academic money. The thing is we're not done on signing day. We go all the way until May 1."

Not playing football has given Urban the opportunity to spend more time with his wife, Emily, and daughter, Liesl, at their San Antonio home.

He'll be even busier around the end of September, as Emily is expecting twins.

But Urban will return to Victoria on Saturday for his annual quarterback and wide receiver camp for players entering grades 9-12 at Memorial Stadium.

The camp, which is free of charge, is in its sixth year and offers players the chance for hands-on instruction from college and high school coaches and Urban's former teammates at Trinity.

"I've been blown away by the community support this year," said Urban, who no longer receives a NFL grant for the camp. "People are really stepping up to help make it possible."

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com or comment on this column at AdvoSports.com.



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