Coach Bull(s) having fun on the gridiron

Jeff Bull, center, with his sons Kevin, left and Keith and Oxford’s freshman football team. This season they are 2-0, having defeated Utica Eisenhower, 14-7 and last week downing Linden, 41-28. Photo by D. Rush

29 years and counting

 By Don Rush

If you happen to be around the football field when the Oxford freshman team is on it, and you yell “Coach Bull!” three heads may turn to look at you: Head coach Jeff Bull; and assistant coaches Kevin Bull and Keith Bull.

Coach Jeff Bull, 64, is in his 29th year of coaching football in Oxford. Coach Kevin Bull, a 1997 Oxford High School graduate has coached two years with his father and Coach Keith Bull, Class of 2000, is in his first year of coaching with his father and brother.

Coach (Bud) Rowley brought me on years ago and I used to run the middle school program,” Jeff said. “Then when Coach (Zach) Line came here – and I used to coach him – he had me come up to the freshman team.”

Zach Line, now in his fourth year as head coach of the varsity Wildcats smiled when asked to comment about Jeff Bull. “He used to be my middle school coach way back in the day,” Line said. “We used to practice behind Oxford Elementary School. You remember certain coaches from your career, Coach Rowley being one of them. Jeff Bull is that guy who is next on my list of people who are just good and helped shape me the right way. He pushes you, but he’s always positive and upbeat. When I got hired here one of the first guys I reached out to was Coach Bull. I wanted him to be our freshman coach. You’re not going to find a better transition coach from 8th grade to 9th, to high school football than Coach Bull. When you see his teams they always win. They always have team chemistry, always smiling and having fun. He finds a way to work them hard and have fun at the same time. I just wish I could find all the old record books to see how many wins he’s had.”

Coach Jeff Bull has only coached in Oxford and enjoying coaching with his sons the last couple of years.

It’s just awesome,” he said. “My oldest son, Kevin, helped out a little bit doing some film up in the booth two years ago and then last year started coaching. My youngest, Keith, was chomping at the bit to coach and when the opportunity came he took it. It’s been a fun thing to be able to coach with my sons. And, when the day comes when I finally hang it up, maybe one of them will take over. I am so proud and so happy to be doing it with them. They say I yell at them too much, but they’re used to it from when they were young. However, I think both boys are really enjoying it, too,”

While elder Bull handles playing calling, handling running backs, quarterbacks and the defensive line, Kevin is the defense coordinator and coaches linebackers and the offensive line. Brother Keith coaches wide receivers and defensive backs.

To watch him out here is awesome,” Keith said, “He’s been our coach our entire lives. Coaching with him you can see his passion and that he’s having fun. When the opportunity to coach came up it was a no-brainer.”

Kevin echoed his brother’s opinion, adding, “Whenever I see the older kids he’s coached, even the ones who have graduated, they all come up to him and hug him or shake his hand. They all appreciate what he’s done for them, for Oxford and for Oxford football.”

When he’s not coaching, Jeff Bull works part time as a custodian at an apartment complex in town. “I’ve been doing that for 14 years now. They let me come and go.” When he was 48-years-old he retired from General Motors after 31 years for the automaker. He and his wife Carla also have “a bunch of grandkids” which they like to spend time with.

Head coach Jeff Bull was surrounded by the offense during a practice last week at Oxford High School. Photo by D. Rush

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