Artist’s Corner – Coach Jake

September 3, 2019

The Artist’s Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin or its staff.



In the Fall of 2018, Martin Luther King Jr. High School’s boys soccer program won its 18th New York City public school championship to culminate a 19–0 season in which it was ranked no. 3 in the country. Martin Jacobson, whose first championship team was in 1996, three years after he became head coach, had put together yet another winning squad, continuing to make history in the process.

But Coach Jake’s story is more than just a soccer tale. In his time as coach at MLK, he has given hundreds of immigrants—from places like Mexico, Columbia, Senegal, Mali, and Haiti, and some of them homeless or parentless—an opportunity to gain some direction in both the classroom as well as on the field. Becoming Coach Jake highlights some of those individuals’ stories and brings to light how, with Jake’s guidance, many of them have gone on to achieve great success in their adult lives.

Along the way, readers learn how Coach Jake got to MLK after a drug-filled past that included multiple failed marriages and near-prison sentences, before quitting drugs and alcohol cold turkey in 1985 after several stints in rehab proved unsuccessful. Jacobson teams up with seasoned journalist Bill Saporito to detail the triumph achieved both on the field and far beyond.

Coach Jake Foundation

Becoming Coach Jake – Book

Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice and when did you discontinue its use?
A. Yes I am in recovery from Heroin/Opiods. Stopped all drugs and alcohol in 1986.

Q. At which classes or workshops did you learn the most?
A. Self taught. 

Q. Do you believe artists are made or born?
A. Made and born. 

Q. Which film have you watched the most?
A. The Godfather

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?
A. Leonard Buschel.

Q. Do prefer to living by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop, or penthouse?
A. Ocean

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?
A. National Parks Lodges, Grand Canyon. 

Q. Where did you go to ‘get away”?
A. The Mountains

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?
A. Donald Trump

Q. How do you measure success?
A. Kindness, caring and civility.

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. The Coach Jake Foundation

Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life?
A. My Father and mother. 

Q. What is your current hobby?
A. Soccer and Soccer 

Q. What prominent fe/male figure would you most like to date?
A. Nicole Kidman 

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (you can choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A. Moses, Jesus and Timothy Leary and Ram Dass 

Q. What is your favorite: Website?
A. Soccer America 

Q. What is your favorite: TV/cable/digital series?
A. Curb your Enthusiasm

Q. Who is your favorite: Film Director?
A. Martin Rosete

Q. What is your favorite: Non-fiction book genre?
A. The Secret

Q. What is your favorite: Museum?
A. The Metropolitan Museum of Art/NYC

Q. What is your favorite: Band/composer/musical artist?
A. John Denver

Q. What is your favorite: Broadway musical/play?
A. The Lion King

Q. What is your favorite: Psychology or school of thought as related to psychology?
A. Spiritual Truth

Q. Who is your favorite: Activist?
A. Martin Luther King, j 

Q. What is your favorite: App?
A. Waze

Q. What is your favorite:  Cuisine?
A. Thai

Q. What is your favorite: Restaurant?
A. Sala Thai, NYC

Q. What is your favorite: City?

Q. Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for?
A. Yes, Check kiting. 

Q. What is your favorite album of all time?
A. Country Road Connection, John Denver 

Q. Do you have any children? Grandchildren?
A. Children, 5, Grandchildren 3 

Q. What’s your favorite radio show or Podcast?
A. Over the Ball with Kevin Flynn – ESPN 

Q. Who is your favorite novelist?
A. Richard David Bach 

Q. What books are you reading now?
A. Becoming Coach Jake 

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. When you change one life, you change the world 

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate?
A. Disease 

Q. What are five things you always carry with you?
A. Bookbag, money, keys, charger, cell phone 

Q. What is your favorite concert venue?
A. Country Rock 

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life?
A. Getting clean and staying clean! 

Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
A. Using opioids