Jordan Walls is certainly no stranger to success, having won five Canadian Bowl championships with the Saskatoon Hilltops over the course of his Canadian Junior Football League career.
His experience under centre in high-pressure moments has greatly helped him transition into his role as offensive co-ordinator with the Saskatoon Valkyries. While the team has enjoyed many triumphs under Walls, the job doesn’t come without its challenges.
“It’s a lot more stressful coaching,” Walls said. “You definitely have less control, which I don’t necessarily like. When you’re playing, you can make an impact on the game; here, you just call a play and hope it works and hope that you prepared them well.”
Walls may believe that he has less of an impact on the outcome of the game as a coach, but for starting quarterback Alex Eyolfson, he’s not only a mentor but a part-time quarterback psychologist.
“I definitely pick his brain a lot. He’s helped me so much, he just knows so much,” Eyolfson said. “He knows how to calm me down and knows what’s going on in my brain so he’s awesome.”
Walls’ tenure as a successful quarterback has given him the skills to bring a calming influence to not just his quarterbacks but the entire offence.
“They can look at you and if you’re calm — you’ve been in every situation — they’re going to feed off of it,” Walls said. “You definitely don’t want to be too high or low on the sidelines so I try and stay pretty level-headed and I think that it rubs off on the players.”
Walls’ resume alone gives his team confidence in the plays being called from the sidelines.
“I trust what he calls. He knows our team, he knows what’s going to work and what’s not,” Eyolfson said.
One of the most rewarding parts of Walls’ new role comes from outside of the win-loss column.
“I think it’s just seeing the growth in the players,” Walls said. “I mean, you want them to get better. That’s why we’re all here. We want to get better, we want to give back.”