Alma, Mich. - Jason Couch, a 1997 graduate of Alma College and co-head coach and offensive coordinator at Romeo (Mich.) High School since 2003, has been named the head football coach at Alma College, it was announced today (Monday, Jan. 8) by Steven Rackley, Director of Athletics. Couch will begin his duties immediately.
"We are thrilled to welcome Coach Couch and his family back to Alma," Rackley said. "He has displayed great success at the highest level of high school football in Michigan and he has all the qualities we looked for in our next head football coach. His love for Alma is unmatched and I look forward to watching him lead our student-athletes both on and off the field."
Couch becomes the 30th head coach in the history of the program, which dates back to 1894.
"For the last 15 years I have been blessed to coach wonderful student-athletes at Romeo High School," Couch said. "It is my honor to return to Alma College as the head football coach. I will work tirelessly to help develop a championship program with men of character while maintaining the Alma traditions that I fell in love with."
Couch played for the Scots from 1993-96, serving as the starting center for three seasons and anchoring the offensive line for the top offense in NCAA Division III during his senior year in 1996. For his efforts, Couch received All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team accolades and was named an honorable mention All-American. He was also the recipient of the team's Al Borgman Award as the top offensive lineman.
In his 15 seasons as co-head coach at Romeo with Curt Rienas, the Bulldogs made an appearance in the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs the last 14 years, winning the MHSAA Division 1 championship in 2015 and advancing to the state semifinals in 2016. The duo also guided Romeo to five Macomb Area Conference titles and helped the school ascend into the MAC's Red Division, the top grouping in the conference.
Couch and Reinas were named the Macomb Area Conference Coach of the Year four times – 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2016 – and also received regional coach of the year honors on six occasions (2005, 2006, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017). After winning the state title in 2015 with a 41-27 victory over Detroit Cass Tech, the pair was honored as the Detroit Lions Coach of the Year and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Division 1 Football Coach of the Year.
The duo has also been honored by the MHSFCA with the Steve Spicer Memorial Leadership Award four times (2009, 2012, 2014, 2017) for their service to the community. In addition to service hours the team has contributed to the Romeo community, the "Watchdog" cancer awareness games, hosted by Romeo High School for the past nine seasons, have raised nearly $450,000 for cancer charities.
Romeo posted a 7-3 record in 2017 and fell in the district round of the MHSAA playoffs.
Couch also taught social studies at Romeo High School since 2001 and was a nominee for the 2010 State of Michigan Teacher of the Year. In 2011, he was named Macomb County's Most Outstanding High School Teacher.
Prior to being named the co-head coach at Romeo, Couch spent two seasons (2001-02) as an assistant varsity coach with the Bulldogs. He was also an assistant varsity football coach at Troy High School during the 1999 and 2000 campaigns and served on the Merrill High School varsity staff in 1997 and 1998.
Couch graduated from Alma College in 1997 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and earned his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University in 2003.
Couch and his wife of 16 years, Rebecca, have three sons: JB, age 14; Sam, age 13; and Cooper, age 11.
The 2018 season kicks off on Labor Day weekend when the Scots travel to Berea, Ohio, to face Baldwin Wallace University. Couch's first game as head coach at Bahlke Field will be on Saturday, Sept. 8, when Alma welcomes Manchester University (IN) for a non-conference affair.
What They Are Saying About Coach Couch...
Jim Cole, Alma College Head Football Coach, 1991-2011
"Jason Couch is an outstanding football coach and even better person. He is a dedicated father and husband and an active contributor to his community. Alma has selected a great individual as its head football coach. Jason was a fine football player, two-time captain and a student of the game. His passion for Alma College and his personal characteristics will make him a powerful and successful recruiter. He is a true Scot ... Congratulations to Jason and to Alma College. The present and future Scots student-athletes will be the real winners."
Greg Brynaert, Romeo High School Athletic Director
"Jason Couch is an incredible coach who connects on many levels with his players and staff. He is an outstanding teacher, a great leader, motivator and a person who cares deeply about his community. He is truly passionate about football and the positive values that are gained and earned through playing the game. He will do a phenomenal job, giving his endless effort. We are losing a fantastic coach, a wonderful teacher and a good friend; however we celebrate him achieving his dreams to coach at Alma."
Curt Reinas, Romeo High School Co-Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
"Jason Couch is a man of action that cares as much about helping players grow as people as he does their success on the field. Players, staff, and community all were made to feel like family by Jason and his family. The impact he has made on our community will be seen in the thousands of new Alma supporters from Romeo. I know he had an unbelievable experience at Alma as a student-athlete and has a lot of pride in the College. He will make sure everyone he comes in contact with feels the same."