Coach Pina Jr. Interview on the Jon & Jon Radio Show
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Our very own Coach Michael Pina Jr. had a chance this week to go on the Jon and Jon podcast on the campus of Nichols College.
Coach Pina Jr. has had a very interesting journey in his football career at this point. He played at Xaverian Brothers high school, Western New England, Mount Ida College, and Nichols College. He is currently a Graduate Assistant at Nichols College.
In the interview they talked about his time in high school, his time at Western New England, Mount Ida, Nichols College, and the up-and-coming company of QB Velocity.
Thanks again to the Jon and Jon show for having Coach Pina Jr on and make sure to listen to it on YouTube, Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts on.
What was the experience like playing at Xaverian?
I absolutely love Xaverian. I loved my experience there. Went there all four years of high school. One thing I loved about the experience is that it was super competitive. That's how I really learned how to compete, and I developed a strong work ethic through the grind of it all.
Overall, we have guys that are in or have gone to the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL, so it's a highly-competitive culture when it comes to sports and academics too. I mean, academics is a whole different standard there, so was I.
I was prepared when it came to college for academics and athletics, overall. Athletically we had great team. All three years we made the state championship, all three years. Junior and Senior year we won the state championship, unfortunately we lost my Sophomore year, but it was an unbelievable ride.
Who did you backup there as a Sophomore and Junior there at Xaverian?
So, Jake Farrell was the quarterback that started in front of me when I was a sophomore and junior. And the crazy thing is we had other quarterbacks other than Jake that could have also started at if they were at other programs throughout the state.
But Jake was an awesome quarterback. He was a true dual threat, he probably ran about a 4.63, multiple sport athlete football, hockey, and baseball. He ended up getting drafted by the Yankees, so you know. He's an awesome baseball player, played first base at Northwestern, hit above 300.
Jake was a great guy to play behind and I learned a lot from him. He was a great leader, a great quarterback, and a great teammate.
Do you think being a player and learning under someone else helped you in your coaching career now?
Yes 100%, and that's always the type of guy I try to be like when I was a player too. I wanted to pass on things to guys like yourself and other guys on our team, so that's how it was. I think that's really translated well for me as a coach because, for QB velocity and for Nichols, I am able to use all these different experiences I have had with different teammates, different coaches through all my different schools, and everyone I've been I've been around. Learning things under all these different people has definitely helped me be a better coach.
What was your experience at Western New England like?
My decision to go to Western New England was about how I wanted to win. Western New England is a very successful school and coming out of a winning high school, I wanted to go to a school that was winning as well because I was winning.
I love winning. I mean, I lost twice my whole high school career. So it was, you know, something where 'Wow, that's a great'. But the winning culture was a big reason for me to go there. Western New England is a great school that loves winning just as much as I do and I wanted to go keep on winning under a great coaching staff like Western New England's.
The head coach was a big factor for me going there. He recruited me coming out and. You know, I ultimately decided to go there as far as far as our team. We had a great year. We made the playoffs. We went to a playoff game and finished at 11-1.
So, it was a great year. Awesome, awesome team to be a part of, but for me that year I was pretty low on the depth chart for quarterback. But I was able to see the field through long snapping.
I'll just starting long snapper and I was able to make the travel roster for the playoffs when there's only 53 guys that made the roster. I was one of them as a freshman. For long snapping and making myself versatile so it was a whole other learning experience and. You know something I am able to pass on to different guys.
Did you get a chance to long snap in the playoff game?
So first game in the playoffs, a home game against Husson. The crowd was crazy. That crowd was crazy that game. It was a whole different atmosphere that I was lucky to be a part of.
We went up to Alfred University in New York and that was a whole different experience. I'd never been to that part, you know that far upstate New York so. That game was a great game, it went down right to the wire and we end up losing 35 to 28. It went right down the wire. I only had one play which we punted once.
Something that we really preach at QB velocity is versatility for quarterbacks. Most of the time only one quarterbacks and play the whole game. So, you want to make yourself versatile. If you love football and you want to help out the team and play, make yourself versatile.
Don't kind of be a snob and just stick to quarterback. That's been my mentality through high school and college. I just want to help the team. Even at Nichols, when I was starting quarterback I long snapped a couple of games too.
How was your experience like at Mount Ida?
So, I transfer my second semester of freshman year. A family friend who coached there, Michael Landers, he played high school ball with my uncle. My family's known him forever, so that was a big motivating factor for me to head to Mount Ida.