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Nagel to coach Linfield QBs

Jim Nagel may bring his coaching talents to Raider Stadium — again after all - as a Linfield Wildcat.

Nagel, the Ashland High athletic director who has already — announced his retirement as Grizzly AD, has been hired to be the quarterbacks — coach at Linfield College.

He joins a Wildcat program with a rich football tradition, — which includes three NAIA national championships in the 1980s, a trip — to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals in 2003 and a 31-9 record against — small college rival Southern Oregon University.

Nagel, who was set to be the head coach at SOU before — pulling out prior to the 1998 season, is ecstatic about the move, which — he said was solidified on Monday.

"I'm excited," he said. "I really like the coaching staff — and I got a chance to meet with the players Monday and really liked them. — I think it's just a great fit.

"It's just got so much great tradition. They pack the — stadium, there's tremendous enthusiasm and alumni support. It's got all — the things you want in a small college program."

Nagel said he will continue to live in Ashland during — the offseason, when he will act as Linfield's regional scout, but will — spend the football months in McMinnville. His responsibilities will range — from instructing the quarterbacks to helping the coaching staff develop — game plans.

He will also teach classes in the fall.

"I know [Linfield head coach Jay Locey] wants me to be — involved with the game planning, but it's going to take me a while," Nagel — said. "It's a whole

new system. I think the first year, I'll be spending — most of my time just figuring out what's going on."

Locey told Nagel of the opening at a Nike Coaching Clinic — about six weeks ago. The two already knew each other from a summer football — camp.

Nagel said he never technically applied for the job. It — just sort of happened.

"(Locey) mentioned that their quarterbacks coach may be — leaving and asked if I had an interest, and I said, 'Yeah," Nagel said. —

About a month later, Locey called again to tell Nagel — that the position was open and that he didn't need to apply.

"Jim is an outstanding person, no question," Locey said. — "He's a legend who's proven and he's good with people, so we're excited — about his vast experience and sure think he's going to bring a lot to — our program."

As an added bonus, Nagel's daughter will be starting school — at Linfield in the fall.

The Wildcats finished the 2003 season as the No. 3-ranked — team in the country. They may be even better in 2004, as they go for their — first national title since 1986.

Nagel will coach against the Raiders for the first time — on Oct. 16, when SOU travels to McMinnville for what could prove to be — a crucial game in the Raiders' playoff drive. The Wildcats have handed — the Raiders two straight heartbreaking defeats, including last season's — 47-42 barn-burner at Raider Stadium.

"It's going to be interesting, because I'm going to look — across the field and see a whole lot of coaches I know real well," Nagel — said. "I'm looking forward to it."