It didn’t take former Bulldogs defensive lineman Jeramey “Dock” Dockery very long to return to his alma mater as a member of the football coaching staff.
Kellen Nesbitt, assistant coach and defensive coordinator, says when defensive line coach Andy Ball left the program just before spring ball was about to start, Dockery became a shoo-in for the position. He says it was a perfect marriage from the moment Dockery expressed interest in the position.
“We definitely had some good candidates, but one of the really attractive things about Dock was, one, he was a really good technical player when he was here, and we knew he’d be able to teach great technique to our players,” Nesbitt says. “He also knew our system inside and out. He was able to plug in immediately. It wasn’t like we needed to bring in a new guy and teach him all of our language and calls and everything. He was one of the first names we brought up the second we knew we were losing Andy Ball. When he said he wanted to come back, we were pretty much done with the search.”
As a 2014 Truman State graduate with an exercise science degree and a business minor, Dockery said he was recommended by Ball for a coaching vacancy at Southwest Minnesota State University before once again officially donning Bulldog purple last spring. Dockery said his coaching experience in Minnesota helped him understand how key communication is, not only with players, but also among other staff members.
Regardless of his youth, Nesbitt said Dockery managed to gain the respect of his Bulldog defensive linemen immediately, largely because of his reputation as a workhorse playmaker during his time as a player, and his techniques for building trust and rapport with his players.
“I respect them and they respect me, having been out in some battles together on the football field,” Dockery says of his experienced defensive front. “I show them respect by letting them lead. A few of them were leaders long before I got here. I’m leaning on those guys for their experience and getting their opinions about things. [Senior defensive lineman Nick] Reichert I depend on at the defensive tackle position, so I’ll let him run some drills by himself. It’s a level of trust between us that has developed our relationship.”
To read more about Dockery’s goals for the upcoming season, check out the Index on Issuu.