Big shoes to fill — Jake Landon takes over as Ririe girls basketball coach


When long-time, successful girls basketball coach Damien Smith left Ririe High School to accept a superintendent position in Wyoming, he left some big shoes to fill.

Jake Landon is the new Ririe head coach. Landon is an agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at the high school and also coaches golf at the school. He graduated with Smith at Ririe in 2001, and said he was sad to see him leave.

“I knew there was going to be some poor guy that was going to have to fill his shoes, and I didn’t think that was going to be me,” Landon said with a chuckle.

Landon has lived in Ririe all his life, growing up about a mile away from where he lives now. He returned to the high school five years after graduating, and has coached track and field, golf, football, junior varsity girls and boys basketball, and was the varsity boys basketball head coach for some time.

“I’ve done a little bit of everything,”he said.

Landon said what draws him to coaching is being able to watch students learn and grow through sports. He said there are some things that can only be learned through playing a sport, or that are at least easier to learn. He said his goal as girls head coach is to continue to help them learn, succeed and build relationships.

When he is not coaching, he said he enjoys spending time honing his own golf skills, which he said is his favorite pastime. Landon and his wife Kacey live in Ririe with their sixth-grader son and third-grader daughter.