Famous for his goal line touchdowns and hard runs in an LSU uniform, Jacob Hester has carried that dedicated drive into his life off the field. A loving father to four boys, Jacob exudes devotion to his family and exhibits passion towards his multiple occupations. He is never satisfied unless he’s giving his all both to his family and his career.
How did you meet your wife?
J: We started dating in high school. I was a senior and she was a junior. We got married the summer before my senior season at LSU.
Tell me about your children!
J: Jackson is a leader, and is so smart and into anything that’s building. Knox is a sweet soul who’s going to be an athlete. Hudson is the life of the party, our comedian, he’s his own man. Memphis is our rambunctious one, a climber, and a daredevil.
Three things you always have with you?
J: Notepad. I believe taking notes and writing down thoughts is the best way to take it to heart. I always have my cell phone; being in sports you never know when news is going to break, and you don’t want to be the last to report it. My third is a coffee cup, when you have four kids and a bunch of jobs, coffee is important.
Three words to describe yourself?
J: Loyal, determined, OCD.
How would your friends describe you?
J: Always on the move. My friends tell me that I do too much. My dad was a Marine and has always tried to do as much as he could to support his family. My mom worked nights so she could always make my ball games. If they can do it, I need to be doing it, too.
Most recent proud parenting moment?
J: Jackson just gave a six minute speech about Elvis. He got up in front of his class and visitors and didn’t miss a beat. He danced to “Jailhouse Rock.” He crushed it. Hudson’s first sporting event was this spring and he played soccer. He tried to slow down and he ran over a kid. It was on ESPN.
How do you keep it all balanced?
J: When I’m home, I’m home. My time with my kids is their time. When I’m away from them, that’s my time. When I’m home, they deserve my full attention. Because I have a different schedule, I am gone at nights. That puts a lot of strain on my wife, so when I’m home, it’s my responsibility to take all pressure off her.
Greatest thing about being a dad?
J: Seeing the joy on their faces when they do something that they think will make you proud.
Favorite spot around town for date night?
J: What’s a date? I’m kidding. Superior on Highland is our spot. We have those in Shreveport, so it’s kind of a little bit of home.
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, who would you invite?
J: Les Miles. That’s my guy. We still text and talk.
What good habit do you have that you would like to pass on to the kids?
J: Work ethic.
Any bad habits you would not want to pass on?
J: Saying yes to everything.
Hardest thing about being a dad?
J: I have four sons. Feeling like I give them each equal attention and make sure they feel special. Philip Rivers, my quarterback in San Diego, taught me a lot about work life balance. He’s a really attentive dad, and he has eight children.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
J: I am a gigantic soccer fan. It started in middle school. My wife and I both play in a Co-ed Over-30 League.
How did you react when you found out you were going to be a dad?
J: I was thrilled. I got married young knowing that I wanted to have a big family.
What’s your parenting style?
J: Hands on without hovering. Need to be involved in their decisions but you don’t want to make their decisions for them.
What’s one piece of advice you often give your children?
J: To be respectful to women. With my wife being the only female in the house, I feel like that’s very important. Sometimes she’s treated like one of the boys. Respecting their mom is my number one rule that I get on to them about.
How has parenthood changed you?
J: Put things into perspective. I feel like the smallest things they do make me more proud than any touchdown or anything I’ve ever done. Jackson scoring his first goal in church league soccer was better than scoring the winning touchdown against Florida. Seeing them achieve anything is everything.
What’s one thing your kids have taught you?
J: Probably to wait to make a judgment on something and see it from every angle. When they argue, I have to look at each side.
What’s your favorite time of day?
J: Morning time because I get to take the boys to school. That’s my daddy duty. I let my wife relax and drink coffee. There were a lot of years in the NFL when I was gone from 5 in the morning to 5 in the evening, and my wife had to handle it all.
How does it feel being back in Baton Rouge?
J: It feels outstanding. Baton Rouge is a very special place to me and my wife. To be able to share LSU and its traditions with my boys is awesome. They’re noticing more every day. They’re noticing that Daddy played football and wore #18.
What has football taught you about parenting?
J: Stay committed to the common goal. You have a goal with your team in football, and you have a goal with your wife on who and what you want your children to be.
What do you love about being a part of sports media in Baton Rouge?
J: That I get to be around the LSU football program and talk about it without having to have the grueling hours that a coach or a player would have to have, and I get to share that with my boys. ■
I like my coffee… two Splendas and cream.
In my fridge, you will always find… milk.
Favorite movie growing up… Jailhouse Rock or King Creole.
Favorite children’s book… Children’s Bible.
I can’t stop listening to… Elvis.
My guilty pleasure is… Blue Bell ice cream.
Growing up, I knew I wanted to… be on TV talking sports, own a t-shirt business, and own a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.
The parenting item I couldn’t live without… dry erase board.