One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for June 26, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
Four years ago I had a hectic summer. I was losing a very talented leader and coach to another school. It was painful to see someone who had put so much energy into building something special leave after five seasons before he got to see all the fruits of his labor come to harvest.
In 2011 UNC Pembroke was losing Jamie Gibbs as our wrestling coach so he could become the wrestling coach at Baldwin-Wallace College just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. At that time I was serving as Director of Athletics at UNCP. This professional opportunity for Jamie was actually more about personal values than career. Jamie was from Iowa and had close relationships with his family. Ohio wasn’t next door but it did put him closer to his family.
The other intriguing thing about Baldwin-Wallace is he would become the first full-time wrestling coach in the history of the University. He has done a great job in the four years he has become their full-time coach. This past season Baldwin Wallace University wrestling team placed 20th as a team at the NCAA Division III National Championship and two of its wrestlers became All-Americans.
While he was at UNC Pembroke he led the Braves to top 25 finishes at the NCAA national tournament in four of his five seasons. He watched our program have enough success to earn an invitation to the prestigious NWCA National Duals. During Jamie’s five-year tenure, the Braves have had 16 national qualifiers and seven all-Americans. In addition to the success on the mat, the Braves have had nine wrestlers earn their way on to the NWCA All-Academic Team. As I mentioned earlier a year after he left UNC Pembroke one of his wrestlers Mike Williams went on to become a National Champion. Jamie hands were all over that young man and as a coach he took our university to a special place in the sport of wrestling.
Prior to coming to North Carolina Jamie served as an assistant coach at Coe College in Iowa for four years and as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse. Both of the teams are traditional powerhouses in NCAA Division III. In two seasons as a collegiate competitor at Coe, Gibbs was an All-Iowa Conference wrestler and a two-year starter and captain. Prior to Coe, he attended Iowa Central Community College and was a national qualifier and a NWCA Scholar All-American. Jamie received an associate degree from Iowa Central C.C., a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coe and a Master of Science degree in exercise sports science from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.
Jamie is not the only driven leader in his family his wife Jana Gibbs is a leader also.
The Friend – JAMIE GIBBS
The Friend of the Friend- JANA GIBBS-shown with her family below
The Coach and the Entrepreneur
Jana Gibbs is no stranger to working hard. She is the mom to two wonderful energetic sons Bodey and Kaden who both love wrestling. While her husband Jamie was coaching at UNC Pembroke she completed her MBA along with working in the Chancellor’s Office. Since moving to Ohio she has begun a career as an entrepreneur and to nobody’s surprise here at UNC Pembroke she has become a success. Jana has become involved with a company called It Works.
Jana Gibbs is one of those pleasant but persistent leaders that realizes that sometimes all it takes is to do something everyday to get big results. She gets to see that principle everyday with her husband’s line of work-coaching. Work on the fundamentals everyday and eventually success will follow. I researched and found out that the founder of the company “It Works” was a coach. People that are in the field of coaching realize that success follows natural laws. You have to till the soil, plant the seed at the right time, water appropriately, fertilize the right amount, and constantly be weeding. If you do these things you will reap a harvest.
Jana has achieved success because she understands the natural laws of success. I suspect that it is only a matter of time before both her and Jamie are at the top of their respective careers. Kudos to the Gibbs for being leaders.