Dickinson’s Schobinger elected to NDHSCA Hall of Fame
Dickinson volleyball head coach Jay Schobinger will be inducted into North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame for years of service to his athletes.
The NDHSCA has announced five inductees into the Hall of Fame, including Dickinson’s head track and volleyball coach Jay Schobinger.
Schobinger is a longtime mathematics teacher and volleyball coach for Dickinson High School.
His achievements include leading the volleyball team to two state titles and has coached numerous athletes to state rankings in track and field. However, Schobinger’s measurement of his career success has been dictated by the life preparation he has offered his athletes through his coaching and natural highs and lows that comes with sports.
Having great coaches and mentors in his youth provided Schobinger the attributes to pay forward the lessons and wisdom. With his teachings repeated over the generations of athletes, this state-wide recognition has been the cherry on top of a mountain of success and accomplishment his career has produced.
“I grew up in a single parent household for the most part and my male teachers and coaches were my role models and they were a huge influence on me,” Schobinger said. “I don’t think you get into coaching to win state titles… If I am able to do what my coaches did for me, then that is my greatest accomplishment. If I was able to do that then, I would call my coaching career a huge success.”
Coaching came naturally for Schobinger. He started at the age of 16, assisting during American Legion Baseball. He can recall a lengthy list of coaches that have helped guide him, including North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and legendary Dickinson State University football coach Henry Biesiot.
During his time at DSU, he worked as an assistant coach for the volleyball team in 1989, but Schobinger got his first head coaching experience in Tioga, North Dakota, in 1990. He coached football and assisted in track in the spring. Then a year later, he would start his fruitful career at DHS, teaching mathematics and assisting in football, track and volleyball.
He became the head volleyball coach in 1994 and the head track coach in 2003.
Schobinger once again formed a long list of coaches through the decades he worked with at DHS that he praised for both their influence and shared values of mentoring their students.
“Dave Michaelson and I talk about it all the time, about how fortunate we were as young coaches to have the mentors that we did have,” Schobinger said. “There are so many and I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but I am so lucky to have been coached by great individuals, great mentors and to have coached with a lot of quality people.”
Out of the catalog of colleagues, two coaches stood supreme — Roger Stone and Jack Carlson. Both were first his coaches in high school before becoming his peers, but always they have been great mentors to him.
“Roger Stone to this day is one of my best friends,” Schobinger said. “They were a huge influence and I told myself if I can do for one kid what my coaches did for me, then that year has been a success.”
As the years progressed, Schobinger’s athlete accolades continued to mount, but he kept in focus the larger picture of providing students lessons over victories.
“The characteristic of a good coach is someone who cares more about the kids than they do the sport,” Schobinger said. “That I think is the bottom line… I have gotten numerous text messages and emails from former athletes and most of them don’t talk about how I taught them how to spike a volleyball or to triple jump. They thank me for helping them become the person that they are.”
There are team photos that sit in a trophy case inside DHS of their volleyball state championships. Some years ago when Schobinger’s family came to visit, they stopped by that trophy case and his aunt wondered why Schobinger was absent from the photos until he replied to her, “It's never been about me. It's about those kids.”
Schobinger spoke with confidence when he said that the coaches he has worked with understand this principle, humbly giving credit to his colleagues and athletes for him receiving his Hall of Fame induction.
“I had a lot of athletes that made me look like I knew what I was doing,” Schobinger said. “You don’t coach as long as I have without having a lot of people influence you… It's kind of a pay it forward. Like I said, I was very blessed and I only hope that I didn't let down any of those great role models that I had and there were a lot of them.”