Coach Harry Jasper arrived in Tehachapi just in time for the 1966-67 school year. He was
asked to teach History and coach football and tennis. In his first year (above), he served as the
assistant Braves coach along with head coach Jerry Humpert. The 1966 Braves team went undefeated.

A Brave Legend: Coach Harry Jasper

Posted August 21, 2011, by

When Warrior fans think of Tehachapi High School football --- Mountain Football --- its traditions and winning ways, most thoughts turn to head coach Steve Denman. And why not, Denman has coached Warrior players in four different decades, won numerous school titles, and has led Tehachapi to approximately 256 wins coming into the 2011 season.

But ask the casual Warrior fan what other head coach in school history coached in four different decades --- you might struggle to find the answer? Who was it: coach Harry Jasper.

As the long time head coach of the junior varsity Braves, Jasper had the all important role of preparing football players for the varsity level. Developing Mountain Football starts with freshmen and sophomores, and during Jasper's tenure, many outstanding Warrior players were developed.

Jasper came to Tehachapi just in time for the 1966-67 school year, coming to the mountain from Clovis, New Mexico. As part of his contract with the school, he was asked to teach history and coach football and tennis. He along with Lauren Lane served as assistant coaches to Jerry Humpert during the 1966 Brave football campaign. The 1966 team, behind players Mike Douglas and Tom Dinely, went undefeated in league play.

Soft spoken but determined, Jasper would assume the role of head coach in 1967, and would lead the Brave program from 1967 until 1992. His teams averaged seven (7) wins per season over a four decade period, with Jasper collecting 172 Brave victories, and ten league championships. The Braves played 9 or 10 game schedules each year.

During Jasper's reign as the Braves coach, the vacancy for the Warrior head coach came up four times. Was Jasper ever a candidate for a head coaching job? Jasper responds simply "No. I was perfectly happy to coach at the junior varsity level". Jasper served under varsity coaches Bill Carll, Dennis Ruggles, Gary Ogilvie, and Steve Denman during his time with the Braves.

Ironically with Denman, Jasper was his head coach in 1971. "I can still remember his first game as a quarterback for the Braves. He completed 18 of 21 passes. He did well (as a Warrior) and in college ball (at Bakersfield College) and has brought the same high quality football to the program at Tehachapi".

When asked to name some of the best Braves he has ever coached, he mentions Denman, kicker Scott Dye, running back Eric Young, but stops himself, pauses, and reflects "you know, there are just too many good players to mention here, way too many good players".

Coaching in four different decades, has Jasper seen a change in the kids or the parents? "Not much change. More kids and parents that had other priorities than football," Jasper says.

Jasper also makes a point to mention not every team was very successful. Some years were not so good, I've had a few teams that did not win too many games. Some of those early teams struggled for players, with small team rosters of 25 or so players.

While Jasper's legacy at Tehachapi High will be his long standing tenure as the Braves football coach, he also coached the boys tennis program for decades as well. His program produced many good teams and outstanding individual tennis players.

Jasper retired from the school district in 2004. A self proclaimed Christian man, Jasper grew up in Portales, New Mexico. He played football for the Portales High School Rams, a running back who wore jersey #32. Jasper graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. Jasper did his student teaching in Clovic, NM, before coming to Tehachapi.

These days coach Jasper and his wife Darlene are retired and live in Tehachapi. Jasper admits to attending the majority of Warrior games each year. And why not --- he helped lay the foundation for a successful program.

Coach Gary Ogilvie, left, served as an assistant coach to Harry Jasper in this 1978 photograph. The 1978 Braves team went
undefeated allowing just 6 points (1 TD) the entire season. Ogilvie took over the varsity ranks for the second time the following year in 1979.

Head Coach Harry Jasper
Junior Varsity Braves Coaching Record (1967-1992)

W-L = Overall Season Record

1992Harry Jasper  5 5 0SSL Results (4-1)
1991Harry Jasper  6 3 1DIL Results (4-1)
1990Harry Jasper  7 3 0DIL Co-Champions (4-1)
1989Harry Jasper  3 6 1DIL Results (2-2-1)
1988Harry Jasper10 0 0DIL Champions (5-0)
1987Harry Jasper  7 3 0DIL Results (4-1)
1986Harry Jasper  6 3 1DIL Results (3-1-1)
1985Harry Jasper  4 6 0DIL Results (2-3)
1984Harry Jasper  9 1 0DIL Results (4-1)
1983Harry Jasper  9 1 0DIL Champions (4-0)
1982Harry Jasper  7 3 0DIL Champions (4-0)
1981Harry Jasper  9 0 1DIL Champions (4-0-1)
1980Harry Jasper  8 1 0DIL Champions (4-1)
1979Harry Jasper  5 3 1DIL Results (2-2-1)
1978Harry Jasper  9 0 0DIL Champions (9-0)
1977Harry Jasper  7 1 1DIL Results (7-1-1)
1976Harry Jasper  6 1 1DIL Champions (6-1-1)
1975Harry Jasper  7 2 0DIL Results (6-2)
1974Harry Jasper   7 2 0DIL Results (6-2)
1973Harry Jasper   4 5 0DIL Results (4-4)
1972Harry Jasper  8 0 0DIL Champions (8-0)
1971Harry Jasper  5 3 1DIL Results (5-2-1)
1970Harry Jasper  7 2 0DIL Results (6-2)
1969Harry Jasper  5 4 0DIL Results (5-4)
1968Harry Jasper   6 3 0DIL Results (6-3)
1967Harry Jasper  6 2 1DIL Results (6-2-1)