Football and cranberries: Bible juggles career and coaching

Fall brings Friday night football games, bonfires and cranberry harvest. It’s what many growers work for all year–at least, that’s what head football coach Jim Bible works for.

Bible is not only the football team’s head coach, but he’s also an Ocean Spray cranberry grower. He has been coaching for 18 years and has been the head coach for ten years. All that while he’s made sure to find time to juggle his occupation and his passion.

“It’s something that everyone has to do which is prioritize things, and you need to have good time management, [in football] we use an acronym F.A.S.T, family, academics, sports, and time wasted, or how you spend you time, that is how I prioritize things. First I am a husband and a father, then it is my occupation as a cranberry grower, then it’s the head football coach, then it’s how well I organize my time,” said Bible.

With finals week coming and the quarter ending, you can see where at times these two occupations can seem to be overwhelming.

“Another thing that helps me do it is I’ve surrounded myself with really good people on both ends–the coaching staff here at Black River Falls is excellent. When you are a leader or the head of the organization you kind of have to delegate responsibility and everyone knows their jobs and knows what they are good at, so if I need to be gone on a Wednesday for half a practice I know I can rely on them. Same with my employees–they are full time help, mainly responsible for the frost protection in the fall.”

While students get to get a full night’s sleep,  the cranberry business has crazy hours.

“One the night after the Westby game, us as a coaching staff got done at one a.m., and I had to help one of my cranberry operators, so I went to sleep for two hours and got up and worked from 3 to 8:30 a.m. You know it’s going to happen so be ready to deal with it.”

Bible should also get a sticker for perfect attendance.

“I’ve never missed a game because of the way things are set up.  I this year did miss a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday practice before the Viroqua game because I am an Ocean Spray grower and I’ve done some promotional work for them in New York and Chicago, and they asked me again this year.  I wasn’t going to because I didn’t want to interrupt harvest because we were inbetween marshes, so we had a discussion with Coach Janke and Coach Rufsholm. They were all for me doing the Ocean Spray thing because it was a great opportunity to do those things, too,” said Bible

On the field and in the bog, Bible has to be a leader.

“Coach Bible is very confident in his players, which gives everybody confidence in his players, He knows what to say and when to say it. Coach is great at pounding things into your head so that you will learn. He knows when to push the limits and when not to. There are several reasons why we we’re successful these past two years and one reason was that we believed in what Coach Bible and his leadership as well as the other coaches,”said senior Byron Fink.

As you can see our head coach is kind of a celebrity when it comes to cranberries, but is first and foremost dedicated to not only his players but his family, too.

“Coach Bible is a great coach, he has good motivational speeches before games, and is an all around good guy,” said junior Dylan Hill

Coach Bible’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

” He is a great coach he always thinks positive. He also thinks very highly of his players–he not only is dedicated to his profession of a cranberry grower but is also very dedicated to his responsibility as a football coach,” said sophomore Grant Stittleburg.