Without a 2020 CFL season, the quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders has taken on coaching duties at a Nevada high school.
Cody Fajardo is the quarterbacks coach and pass-game coordinator with the Reno High School Huskies.
“Everyone else gets to play football, so I’m missing it in my life,” said Fajardo, who played NCAA football with the University of Nevada Wolfpack. “I want to be a part of game planning again, talking about plays, watching film and watching defences, something I’ve done my entire life.”
The Huskies have won 19 State Football Championships, the second most in Nevada. But their most recent title was in 2003.
Fajardo will be working with three quarterbacks. The players have previously worked with the CFL’s 2019 Most Outstanding Playing as part of his quarterback development program.
Given Fajardo’s high school football resume with Servite High School in Orange County, CA, the Reno players have hit the jackpot.
“We won State [Championships] and our team was third in the nation which is pretty impressive,” Fajardo said. “I won the California State player of the year. You write your goals down and you’re like, this would be so awesome and a lot of those things [goals] we hit.”
Fajardo says part of the appeal of accepting the volunteer coaching role was to get a deeper perspective from outside the pocket.
“That’s part of the reason I wanted to take on this challenge because I’ve never really seen it on the side of the coaches. Always the player,” Fajardo said.
He also wants to understand what his future offensive coordinator, former Edmonton Football Club Head Coach Jason Maas, will be seeing on film.
“He watches it for plays and for me, I watch it for defenses,” Fajardo explained. “Being a coach and watching film I can kind of take that side and strengthen those weaknesses that I never really think about as a player.”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Huskies won’t see any game action on the gridiron until spring. Which is perfect timing for Fajardo.
“February to April, they’ll be playing games so I’ll be able to get kind of back into that football shape and that football mindset. Then jump right into May when training camp hopefully starts,” Fajardo said.