TAMPA — Sacrifice.
It’s a word Chamberlain High’s football head coach, Jason Lane repeats constantly in practice.
His practices are tough.
“That’s a tough dude,” said senior Joe Hodge. "He makes you question if you love it or not. You gotta love it to be out here. If you’re not — if you don’t love this sport, you can’t play for Coach Lane.”
It may not be easy, but playing for Coach Lane is something special.
It’s the reason why Hodge transferred from Jefferson to Chamberlain.
"What makes Coach Lane a special coach is that he doesn’t talk about football at all, it’s just personal,” Hodge said. "He just builds character, he just wants to build a better man not a better football player.”
Coach Lane knows how to train his players, execute plays and win football games.
But he’s also taught his team how to overcome obstacles — both on and off the field.
"In the tough year that I’ve been through this year, I think we’re talking quite a bit about about sacrifice,” Lane explained. "The game of football is very selfless and you know, what I’ve experienced this year, there’s been a lot of selflessness in my own home so that I can maintain my position here at Chamberlain high school.”
In January, Jason’s wife, Kieonna was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.
"At that point, we kind of had to sit down and do a lot of reflecting in our own home as to what our next steps were,” Lane said. "I’m just blessed, she’s been a coach’s wife you know, my entire professional career.”
After undergoing four round of chemotherapy and two surgeries, she is now cancer-free.
"She’s the strongest woman I’ve ever met,” Lane said. "She’s the assistant principal for IB at St Petersburg High School, she runs a school within a school and she’s under a microscope, it must perform at a high level.
Throughout all of this, she didn’t miss work — the only work she missed was for surgeries and for chemotherapy, as soon as she was able to get on her feet again, she was right back in that school building.”
The dedication that the Lanes have shown their schools and their communities has made an in impression in countless young lives.
"He’s really hard working — he overcomes a lot of obstacles thrown his way,” said senior James Ashe. "His wife just beat cancer, thank god — he was here, even when she was battling that. He was there every day.”
You can say Coach Lane has helped turn around a program, but he’s doing so much more than improving a record.
"The biggest thing he taught me was just to overcome obstacles and persevere,” said Ashe.
Lessons that will continue to shape these men’s lives for years to come.