Most teams in sports pride themselves on how close their team is and how good their “team chemistry” is. The TJC football team takes those things to a different level with keeping the program more like a “family affair”.
Two of the team’s eight coaches for the team, Robert Mahon and Ryan Mahon, are very close. They are twin brothers, and in being twins they share the same birthday as well as their looks because they are identical twins.
“I’m older by nine minutes,” Coach Robert Mahon said, “It used to be a bigger deal when we were younger but not as much now that we’ve grown up.”
Growing up with a sibling the same age had its advantages and disadvantages, mainly for their parents.
“I think that it was tougher on our parents having to raise twin boys than it was being a twin,” Ryan said “Imagine the most rambunctious child and times it by two. There is a special place in heaven for our parents after dealing with the stuff we put them through.”
As an advantage, they always had someone to practice with at home. They were both very competitive but stopped competing against each other in sports at a very young age.
“To be honest, growing up with a twin was like growing up with your closest friend,” Ryan said.
Coach Robert Mahon, offensive coordinator, and Coach Ryan Mahon, defensive backs and secondary coach grew up in La Grande, Oregon and both played four years at Eastern Oregon University. Although playing for the same teams in both college and high school, they played different positions.
“Ryan always wanted to be a quarterback,” Robert said, “I swear he was born wanting to play it.”
Robert played receiver during high school and in college he played cornerback.
“We didn’t play the same positions because Ryan knew what he wanted to do,” Robert said “It was nice not playing in the same spot because we could always go out in the yard and throw a ball around.”
This is Coach Ryan’s 5th season on staff with the Apaches and Robert’s 2nd.
“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach together this early in our careers,” Ryan said ” We always had aspirations of coaching together once we were more established in our profession.”
Both Ryan and Robert would like to continue coaching for as long as they can and would like to continue their careers as far up as they can go in coaching.
“We know we want to coach,” Robert said “whether it’s with TJC or not, I know we’ll always be coaching.”
Along with the twin coaches, there is also a father son duo in the football program. Coach Ron Holmes in his first season with TJC is coaching the running backs. Among the running backs is his freshman son, Jason Holmes.
Like both Coach Mahons, Ron has also had playing experience. He played an offensive guard at Texas Southern University.
Whether it’s a father and son, or a twin brother or any other family relationship, working together for one common goal brings families closer.
Keeping things in the family is tough at times but in the end players and coaches admit to appreciating the fact that they have someone to relate to.