By Sonja Eschenburg
For the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association
CASPER, Wyo. (June 18, 2015) Jesse Segura, from Feather River was selected as the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s 2015 Coach of the Year.
Segura received the award at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) held at the Casper Events Center on June 17. The competition started on June 12 and runs through June 20. Feather River has ten contestants competing here this year. In fact, Feather River has had student athletes qualify every year since the program was started under Segura’s direction 10 years ago. His inspiration has come from real ranch cowboys. Growing up around Winnemucca, Nev., he has been around those cowboys all of his life.
“I liked what rodeo did for my friends,” Segura said. “It helped me get my education and I wanted to stay involved. Coaching provided me that opportunity.”
His intercollegiate rodeo background started at Lassen Community College at Susanville, Calif.,and West Hills Community College at Coalinga, Calif.. Attending community college “cut down costs and helped get required classes out of the way. He later transferred to Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO) where he continued to college rodeo. In 2003 Segura was awarded the NIRA’s Men’s All Around Champion.
It is obvious Segura has good intentions for his students. He makes education a priority while encouraging success in the arena.
“I them to see the big picture and set up for the future instead of focusing on just right now,” he said. “Students need to understand that even though class is important, it is not only about the letter grade, education is a long term commitment.”
Segura knows finding the balance between school and rodeo “is tougher than any other college sport.” A typical day of practice generally includes working from sun up until sun down. It gets a little crowded with63 students, but the team practices every event every day. They have two arenas to work with so there is always something going on.
Courtney Wood, a second year agricultural business student at Feather River, is competing in this year’s goat tying. Wood says the school’s rodeo program is lucky to have Jesse because he always gives it his all. Jesse has made a huge impact on Wood’s performance both inside and outside of the arena.
“He really cares about our future and who we are as people,” she said. “But he never lets us forget to still have fun.”
The mayor of Casper has also proclaimed Thursday, June 17 Jesse Segura Day in the coach’s honor.