Jake Hallum passes and Scouting lost a great Ambassador
If you have been in the scouting business, yesterday was a sad day. Long time scout Jake Hallum died late Thursday from complications following heart by-pass surgery. He was 76.
Jake Hallum gave his whole adult life to football, and I don’t think there was a man with more passion and love for the game of football than Jake.
Jake played his college football at Newberry College in South Carolina where he played guard and linebacker. Following his graduation in 1960, he began a long and successful coaching career at his high school alma mater Pickins High School in Pickens, South Carolina. He followed that with stints at Hopkinsville High School in Kentucky and then became Head Coach at Paul Blazer High School, also in Kentucky.
In 1968, Jake began his college coaching career as the Head Coach at Morehead State. He was their head coach for four years and that included three winning seasons. From Morehead he went on to join Jerry Claiborne’s staff at the University of Maryland where he was the offensive line coach from 1972 until 1981. He then followed Claiborne to Kentucky where he spent the next eight seasons. He finished his coaching career at Arizona State as the tight ends and offensive line coach in 1990 – 1991.
Following that long coaching career he began his career in scouting. He was a regional scout for National Football Scouting for two seasons and then was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as an area scout. While in the NFL, Jake spent time with the Eagles, patriots and Browns. In 2012 he returned to the Eagles as a senior scout for two seasons. Last year he helped coach the offensive line at Georgetown (Ky.) College.
To know Jake was to love him. I first met Jake when he was a scout for the Eagles in the mid 1990’s would periodically run into each other while we both were on the road. While we would always exchange pleasantries and chat a little, I never got to really know Jake until we both worked together in Philadelphia for the 2012 season.
Jake and I were roommates at the Eagles training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. We would drive to and from practice every day and just about every night would walk to a local ice cream store just down the street for a little dessert.
It was then that I found out just how much Jake Hallum loved the game of football. Other than a few conversations about politics, all we talked about was football, both college and pro. I found out just how important the game was to him and how much he wanted to help the Eagles win.
We would watch practice tape together and break down the offensive lineman. I don’t think there was a play in practice we didn’t watch at least four times. By the end of camp he knew the offensive line as well as anyone and I guarantee his opinion was spot on. Being an old line coach himself, he knew how to break down players and what to look for.
Jake retired from scouting following the 2013 season, but he still found a way to stay in the game. In the spring of 2013, he helped Dan Shonka put together the Ourlads scouting guide. The next fall, he was in Georgetown helping to coach the offensive line. Jake loved being around the game, and if you spent time with him, you always walked away knowing a little more about football. In short, Jake Hallum and football were inseparable.
Yes, football and scouting lost a great ambassador, and I lost a friend I greatly admired. Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed!
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe