The ultimate coach: Aaron Besser

Noah Frick, Contributor

Aaron Besser is an iconic member of the Jackson-Reed teaching staff. Many of us remember him teaching World History I, or loathing/loving his AP Human Geography class, but he does more than just teach at Jackson-Reed. Some know him as Coach Besser, one of the three Ultimate Frisbee coaches, and the only to also work at the school.

Besser explained that he played frisbee in high school and at American University where he went to college. When he got to Jackson-Reed in 2016, he asked Athletic Director Mitch Gore about a frisbee team, and was directed to coach Dave Ohls who was happy to have help. 

While the coaches collectively ran JV  and varsity starting in 2021, Besser was more involved with JV  and Coach Ohls with varsity, especially at tournaments and during practices when the two were separated. Besser coached JV through last spring where they placed a respectable 11th at Virginia States, but leading into the fall season, he decided to take a break because the combination of teaching and coaching became “mentally draining,” and he wanted a break from all the extra work that came with coaching.

However, , after a “relaxing fall,” Besser is digging his coaching hat out of the closet once more, and while still coaching both teams, he plans to primarily focus on varsity, perhaps a step up for him as a coach.

I also asked him about his role as a teacher versus a coach, the latter of which he said taught him that Besser also explained that his experience coaching taught him that even as a teacher, “it’s okay to be goofier or sillier,” and that he could sometimes be “more of a cheerleader helping students” than a hardline authority figure. Many of us know him as both a teacher and a coach, and I think that he’s clearly more relaxed on the field, but some of that tranquility spills into the classroom, where although he’s mostly business, he keeps it fun. •