Black River Falls Tigers

The cranberry coach

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. - Coaching football is Jim Bible's livelihood. So is farming.

"Everybody knows I'm a cranberry grower," said Bible, in his 12th season as Black River Falls' Head Football Coach. "You know, in the past some of the guys, they get a kick out of it because I may show up to practice with hip waders on. If I'm in a rush, I have my hip waders on."

Jim's dad Tom bought a cranberry marsh when he was in college. Now, Jim is running the family business.

"I don't know how he does it," said Jim's mom, Jessie. "Because he takes care of all the book-work, and he has a family, two children and a nice wife. He's very organized. He was that way growing up."

"You know, you just have to prioritize your time, and you have to have good people on both ends of what you're doing," said Jim.


This is the first week of harvest, so Jim will take these cranberries and send them to Ocean Spray, a company that's made him somewhat of a national celebrity. As the face on the back of Ocean Spray's cartons, Bible travels the country to promote the product.

"Everybody's got a cell phone out, taking pictures, and a lot of people say keep up the good work," Jim said. "We love cranberries. I love craisins on my oatmeal. I love my juice cause its healthy so keep up the good work. As a grower, when you're out here working hard, it's rewarding to hear people say that."

"Oh, it's wonderful. Very proud," said his mom.

Jim takes the lessons he learns from traveling, and farming, and passes them on to his football team.

"Two livelihoods, but I tell you what. They're pretty comparable," he said. "The teamwork that has to take place, with my hired men on here and the teamwork with my coaching staff."

"There's a lot of lessons that he trusts in life, and one of the main ones I can take away is adversity, and how you can battle it," said BRF Wide Receiver Jordan Millis.

"One thing you want in an organization is if one perosn is gone, the wheels shouldn't come off," Jim said. "So if I do have to be gone, things should still flow smoothly. I mean that's what you want in an organization. Either on a team, or on a cranberry marsh operation."

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