ASHLAND—Two high school coaching legends in the Rogue Valley have been named honorary guest coaches for Southern Oregon’s spring football game.
For Jim Nagel and Rod Rumrey, Friday marks the latest chapter in their storied rivalry, as they’ll be on opposing sidelines just as they were when their high school teams were archrivals.
"We had some Donnybrooks,” Nagel said. “He got the better of us in one of the state championship games, but I'd like to think we got the better of him more often than not."
There’s nearly four decades of high school coaching experience for Nagel and Rumrey in the Rogue Valley.
Nagel spent 20 years at Ashland, 13 of which were intersected with Rumrey’s time at North Medford.
The coaches combined for five championships, including the showdown in 1998 when they went head to head for the state title.
"I think we actually finished third in the conference behind Ashland and Grants Pass and we played Grants Pass in the semis and Ashland in the championship game,” Rumrey said. “We were able to win both those games and believe me that was one of the few times we came out on top against coach Nagel."
SOU head coach Charlie Hall said he hopes Friday’s meeting between Rumrey and Nagel conjures up sweet memories of the golden age of football in southern Oregon.
"My memories of the North-Ashland games as an assistant were just the crowds,” he said. “The crowd at Ashland High School or the crowd at Spiegelberg Stadium was just phenomenal. To be a part of that was really cool for those players and coaches."
Nagel and Rumrey have connections to SOU as well.
Rumrey was an all-conference performer as a wide receiver in 1967, and Nagel was an assistant coach in 2013 and for the national champion team in 2014.