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As I start to write this I'm keeping my eye on a victory parade happening in Kansas City. One of our locals, Jay White the Assistant Equipment Manager for the Kansas City Chiefs was riding a bus in the celebration.

The team is made up of 60 players, 30 coaches, 20 support staff members and 6 tons of equipment, you read that right 6 TONS. When they head out to play a game, somewhere there are 6 tons of equipment following them.

White has been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs team, for the past 5 years. Starting his career in football on the field at Vinton-Shellsburg High School,

Jay White, grew up in Vinton, graduating in 2002 from Vinton-Shellsburg and through a series of steps, has found himself with the Chiefs.

His advice to kids looking to pursue a career in any sport, White said, "Keep working hard, it's a grind, but if it's your passion, it's worth it!"

As the Assistant Equipment Manager, White is in charge of laundry, overseeing the handling of all of the protective gear which includes helmets, laundry, shoulder pads, laundry, knee pads, laundry and anything else the players need, like laundry to be done. Did I mention there is a LOT of laundry? For his ability to know how to handle the mountains of uniforms in the form of laundry, he chuckled and said he had to thank his mom for that!

The helmets are no doubt the most noticeable of the equipment. He explained that there are some of the helmets that are created using a 3D image of the head of the player and then the helmet is designed around that image.

White and the team will have a bit of a lighter schedule until late April when the team will begin their off-season training activities which run until training camp starts in August. White has traveled to several places as a member of the staff from as far away as London and across the border to Mexico City and to several areas of this country.

Several of his coaches hold a spot in White's memories, he mentioned Darrell Schumacher, Jim Struve. Dan Duello and Dave Boison who have all played a part in his life. White has been touched by all of the congratulatory messages from his fellow students on his Facebook page this past week and mentioned that he will be home for the family Christmas in a few weeks, because, well, you have to rearrange the holidays because of the football schedule.

Even though Jay White never made any All-District teams as a kicker/punter for the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikings, he later taught himself to kick a football so well that he became a Division 2 All-MIAA Conference punter.

Jay, is the son of Bill and Jane White of Vinton, is the first specialist coach at Missouri Western, where he was a two-time All-Conference punter before becoming a coach and facilities manager at the St. Joseph, Mo. Division II college.

In a story from 2012 Jay talked about his career up to that point which began in Mason City, where as a NIACC punter, he began his coaching career by coaching himself.

“I did not have a kicking coach in high school or college,” he said.

Jay spent hours on the practice field, working on his stance, his technique, his leg kick. He learned to tell which of his kicks were the best by the way the ball felt – and even sounded – as it left his foot.

That lesson is something Jay tried to pass on to his underlings. “ I want them to see the ball, hear the ball and feel the ball,” he said. Coaches listen for the authoritative boom of a good kick, he adds.

Jay performed well enough in his two years at NIACC to earn the attention of scouts from larger colleges. Iowa offered him a chance to walk on. Missouri Western offered him a scholarship. He took that deal which lead him to where he is now.

At Missouri Western, Jay continued to coach himself. He was named to the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) All-Conference team and ended his senior season with a 41.6-yard average.

Some NFL teams took notice of Jay’s success at Missouri Western. His football coach invited him to stay on campus as the school’s first specialist coach. He worked with two punters, two kickers and the long snapper.

Having to coach himself has helped Jay to learn to coach others better, he said. He tried to teach them to think through the same things he taught himself on the fields at NIACC and MW.

Since that time, Jay was obviously hired by the KC Chiefs and has served with the team for the past five years, working with the equipment but also helping with anything the injured players might need as they recover. He is still asked by some of the players for advice on their kicking.

Jay said he doesn’t return to Vinton very often, but he did make a special trip home for Vinton Shellsburg's alumni game back in 2012 against Center Point. And yes, he was the VS team’s punter.

In the eight years since the last story, he's been fortunate to be part of the Chief first Super Bowl game in 50 years. So here's hoping for many more years for Jay in football, and a few more Super Bowl games finding the team on the winning side of the field.




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Comments (2)

Such a great article on Jay keep up the great job and GO CHIEFS!!! ❤️💛
By: Darrell & Becky Williams on February 6th 12:54pm
Congratulations! Your team got us to watch our first Super Bowl in a loooong time! Great article!
By: Cindy Lynch on February 7th 10:49am

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