Making time for what matters
Being a high school head coach can be a demanding job.
Whether watching film to prepare for a game, or running practice over the course of the week, a coach has to be able to manage time effectively — not to mention that most high school head coaches have day jobs as well.
But for Andrew and Jessie Mott, all the sacrifice is worth it.
Andrew Mott has been the head football coach at Estacada since 2013 and Jessie Mott has been the head volleyball coach at Barlow since 2010. The coupled married in 2013 and have two girls together — Keenie (age 2) and Millie (4 months).
Between jobs, coaching and kids, life moves pretty quickly for the Mott family.
"I feel like stuff is just moving everywhere so fast. Kids are being shifted back and forth and there are a lot of moving parts," Andy Mott said. "Big kudos to both of our parents that are really involved with the girls. They are always at our games and supporting, so they help a ton. Since our seasons run together, it's all just been a blur."
In the fall, the hectic pace never stops for the Motts.
Barlow usually plays their games on Tuesday and Thursday nights while Estacada usually plays on Friday nights.
During the day, Andy works at Estacada as a P.E and health teacher while Jessie works at Gordon Russell Middle School as a language arts teacher — although Jessie is on maternity leave until November.
"On Monday, we're both like 'see ya on Friday.' Typical days during the week are pretty crazy for us," Jessie Mott said. "I will be doing stuff for (Millie) up to the minute before game time. Sometimes, they will be waiting to do the coin toss and I will be in the back feeding the baby before I can hand her off to my mom."
Even though they are at different programs, Andy and Jessie are each other's biggest fans, and their players adopt that mentality as well.
"(Andy) cooked dinner for my entire team while we were at a camp over the summer in Prineville," Jessie said. "His football team and my volleyball team, they are each apart of both our programs."
Before they became coaches, they were high school classmates at Barlow High School — Jessie graduated in 2003 and Andy graduated in 2004.
But despite going to high school together, they would not begin dating until well after their days at Barlow.
"It was pretty crazy. We were on the track team together and were actually standing next to each other in the team photo, but we were more of acquaintances in high school," Andy said.
Andy ended up going to Oregon State University, while Jessie competed on the volleyball team at Washington State. They both ended up at Concordia College pursuing a master's degree in teaching and both did their student teaching at Corbett High School. From there, the rest is history.
"Once we reconnected and realized that we went to the same school, we started talking and dating," Andy said.
The fact that Andy and Jessie are both teachers and coaches gives them the ability to relate to each other on a diffeent level.
"The great thing about both of us being coaches is that we just kind of get each other," Jessie said.
"There are just things about being a coach that other people might not understand, like all the different moving aspects of running a program. There is so much managerial and logistics stuff that you have to put together, so it's nice to have somebody to throw ideas off of."
Andy and Jessie have both experienced success at their respective schools. The Estacada football team went 9-2 last season, winning the Tri-Valley Conference title and advancing to the 4A semifinals.
Barlow volleyball took second in the Mt. Hood Conference in 2016 with a 22-8 record — including a win over eventual state champion Central Catholic — and placed fifth at the state tournament.
This season, it has been more of the same.
Estacada is in the playoffs for the third straight season with a 6-2 record, and Barlow finished the season winning eight of their last 10 matches and begins the playoffs Wednesday night in Canby.
While there isn't a lot of time for individual game prep, the Motts figure out how to make it work.
"It can be tough, but we both try to really balance stuff out when we are swamped," Andy said. "A lot of times, as soon as we get the girls to bed, I'm on my film trying to sneak in a couple hours of prep. There isn't a lot of down time, so I try to find time to prepare and get lineups down whenever I can."
Despite their exhausting schedule, Andy and Jessie's love for their players and their strong will to help them succeed in sports and life is evident.
"They're almost like our second kids," Andy said about his team. "Building relationships with them is huge and I feel like they have become really involved with our family. I want them to have a positive experience playing the game and walk away from Estacada football with excitement and lifelong memories."
At the end of the day, Andy and Jessie's programs are about much more than wins and losses.
"I want my girls to leave the program being strong women," Jessie said.
"As a woman with two daughters, I want the girls to see how me and our coaching staff are really passionate about the sport, but even more passionate about our families. I also hope that (the players) see how passionate we are about them and how there is a purpose for everything we do."
Andy hasn't had to go through many losses in his last two seasons at Estacada, but when a loss does occur, a hug from is daughter tends to take away the frustration in a hurry.
"There is nothing better than when (Keenie) is running up to me after a game," Andy said. "Even when we lose, you can't be pissed off anymore when you got your little one coming up and giving you loves. She doesn't know whether we won or lost. It's just the best thing in the world."
The Motts may have a chaotic life, but they wouldn't have it any other way. And they don't see that chaos coming to an end in the near future.
"We're able to juggle it right now. But if it ever gets to a point where is wasn't helping our kids or our family, that is when I would really consider it," Jessie said when asked how long she and Andy would coach.
"I'm so passionate about (coaching). It's a challenge, but I am prideful in my program and the thought of walking away from the program and the girls in it would be incredibly hard."
"I'm having a good time doing this," Andy said. "I don't plan on being done any time soon as long as we can keep this going. We're both having fun right now."