Home Sports Local Sports Like father like son, Jeff Lynn follows dad’s path

Like father like son, Jeff Lynn follows dad’s path

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In this file photo, Roswell football coach Jeff Lynn instructs his team at the end of practice in preparation for a playoff game in 2017. (David Rocha Photo)

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In what will be known forever at Roswell High School football as the play — the play that sent the Coyotes to their first football championship game since 2001, as Dylan Tucker made a catch at the 10-yard line, faked out an Artesia defensive back and outran the other Artesia defensive back to score and give Roswell a 48-42 win over Artesia. For RHS head coach Jeff Lynn, it was his first victory over Artesia and this will be his first championship game as a coach.

David Lynn (ENMU Athletics Photo)

On the field after the game, it was a time for family bonding. Before Lynn talked to his team at the end of the end zone at the Wool Bowl, the Lynns lined up and had a team picture and hugged it out as they celebrated Jeff’s victory over Artesia. On hand were his brother, Josh, and his sister Kelly, along with their dad, David, who is an assistant coach with the Coyotes’.

“I tell you what,” David Lynn said, “I’m really proud of Jeff and Josh, they grew up around football. I take it as a good thing that they wanted to follow me in the same profession that I was in. Their mom (Vicky) was really supportive of my career. The only thing she asked me was the last time we moved, was to get her a nice place to live. We’ve had a great time here at Roswell. At my age, I don’t have the energy to be a head coach anymore, but I can be a good assistant. Jeff is the head coach here if he tells me to do something I do it.”

This is a football family that is used to sharing the highs and lows of victory and defeat. Only they can appreciate what this victory means to them, as a family, as they have shared so many in father David’s career.

In a line of fathers and sons that have coached high school football, it doesn’t take long to list successful coaches in New Mexico. Some of them have been elected to the New Mexico Coaches Hall of Fame: names like Eric Roanhaus, former Roswell coach Jim Bradley, Bill Gentry, Lenard (LG) Henderson and his sons Butch and Cooper Henderson, former Coyotes coach Jack Cisco and his son AJ. Finally, there’s David Lynn with his sons, current Roswell coach Jeff and his other son, Josh, who’s the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

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“To Jeff’s credit,” David said, “I think Jeff’s is a better coach than I ever was. The things we do here at RHS is very similar to the things Josh does at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.”

The Lynn family owes a lot to former Eastern New Mexico University coach, Harold “Bud” Elliott.

David played football for the Eunice Cardinals and won a state championship his senior year. He was good enough to start at center for the legendary Warren Woodson at New Mexico State University. David has won six titles in his coaching career: two state titles at Hagerman and two at Eunice, and then another two at Texico.

He is just outside the top 10 in victories with a record of 173 wins and 122 losses. Lynn was such a good coach that he was inducted into the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014. David was named District Coach of the Year eight times, and New Mexico High School Coaches Association Football Coach of the Year in 1997-98.

David is proud of the fact that his son is inclusive and tries to coach and mentor young men on his team that do not have fathers. David believes that his son Jeff is teaching life skills and helping his players succeed in life by being a part of a team.

“I think my sons (Jeff, Josh) learned by being around the atmosphere,” David said. “I think they learned to put the work in and have a work ethic. If you’re going to be successful in anything in life you have to … work at it. I like the fact that he encourages his staff to bring their kids up and spend time with them as they work. Another thing Jeff does is he doesn’t waste a lot of the coaches’ time — when they work they work. He understands that the coaches need family time.”

David says that when he moved to Eunice he started jogging, putting in more than 25 miles a week to relieve stress. The stress of running messed up his hip, causing him to walk with a limp. David has worked on both of his sons’ staffs, Josh, when he was at ENMU and Jeff at Roswell.

“One of our first goals,” David said, “when we took this job was to beat Goddard. The other was to play for a championship. It has been a year-by-year step in his (Jeff) coaching to build this program. I’m most proud of the fact that the game of football afforded me the chance to go to college and get a degree and be able to raise a family comfortably. Our kids are a success, and I attribute all that to football, faith in God and their mama.”

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