One-on-one with Fresno State Defensive Line Coach Jamar Cain

Get to know Fresno State's newest assistant football coach - D-Line Coach Jamar Cain.

Question, Defensive Line Coach Jamar Cain, you’re the newest coach on staff. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Answer, Cain: I’m from Sacramento originally. I’m happy to be here. I grew up a Bulldog fan, watching them from a distance. I’m excited to be here. I was at North Dakota State for the last three years. I had a short stop at San Jose State. I’ve been around the block a little bit here and there.

Q: What attracted you to this program?

A: Just Coach Tedford and the Bulldogs’ tradition. Growing up and seeing the style of play they’ve always had here. When Coach Tedford called it was hard to tell him no.

Q: What’s the process been of learning your personnel and teaching a new scheme?
A: That’s been a work in progress. We’re all trying to feel each other out. They’re trying to feel me out, I’m trying to feel them out - learning the new scheme. When I was at North Dakota State we were so entrenched in what we did. Coming here and learning all the different verbage, a different defense, trying to pick up the playbook, trying to find a house, trying to sell a house - all the little things going on - trying to find a school for my kids. It’s been a work in progress, but it’s going good. I think they players have bought into my style of coaching. We’ve had our rough start, but they’re trying to buy-in.

Q: How does this scheme compare to what you ran at North Dakota State?

A: At North Dakota State we were a 4-3 Cover-2, Cover-4 team. That’s what you knew we were going to line up and do. Here we are so multiple, so there are a lot of different techniques you have to teach. Learning from Coach (Orlondo Steinauer) and what he’s bringing down from Canada, it’s been fun to learn a different style of football. I think the guys are learning and trying to pick it up, I’m trying to figure it out. It’s a work in progress. They’re asking me questions and I’m running over to ask Coach O. So it’s a good thing we’re in spring ball right now.

Q: What principles do you emphasize to your players?

A: We’ve just got to be physical up front. We’ve got to knock guys back. We’ve got to set a tempo from Day 1. Those guys have to believe in what Coach O is teaching, what I’m teaching. We’re going to be a physical style of brand of football. I can guarantee that. Bulldog football is about being physical. That’s been the tradition around here and it’s not going to stop.

Q: North Dakota State had a lot of success while you were there. Fresno State has struggled. How do you change the culture with your group here?

A: You’ve got to coach everything, that’s the biggest thing - from them tying their shoes to the same type of socks. Every little thing that you’ve got to coach. Back at North Dakota State the guys were just used to winning. They knew the style of practice that we wanted. They knew how to run to the ball every single play. They knew there was no time for bad practices. Here, we’ve just got to get that style across and keep applying pressure. We can’t apply stress because the kids will freak out if you apply stress… As long as you apply pressure the kids will respond.

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Q: What are the ideal attributes that future Bulldog defensive line recruits should have?

A: We just want Bulldogs. We want a guy that’s going to be upset if somebody steps on his porch. That’s what dogs are about. You step on a dog’s porch and he has a bad attitude, he’s going to bite. That’s exactly what we want. We want some Bulldog kids who can come in here who are physical, will buy into the Valley, buy into the program, buy into what Tedford is teaching, and we’re going to find the right kids. I’m excited to get back up to my area in Northern California to start getting some kids down here. There’s always been a great pipeline of kids from the Sacramento area coming down here. We’re going to build that pipeline again.

Q: For multiple schemes, are you looking for athletes that can play multiple positions or players that can be used in different packages?

A: You always want that hybrid kid. That big linebacker that you can put some weight on and he can put his hand down. Then you want that bigger defensive end that you can pop inside. With our strength program, we’ll put weight on these kids. We just want bigger, longer bodies, that are physical with long arms and have got some twitch in them. That’s what we’re looking for. has additional full-length interviews with other assistant coaches for BarkBoard Premium Members, and will continue to post them with the full staff. To become a Premium Member or try a 7-day free trial, click here:


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