HU Storm Adds Another Pro to Coaching Staff
3 Feb, 2020
-- Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) has doubled down on its Overwatch coaching staff, hiring former professional player and coach Jack “Shake” Kaplan as the assistant coach. “Shake will assist Joe “Joemeister” Gramano to further enhance the skills and gameplay of the Harrisburg University team, which recently won the ESPN National Collegiate Esports Championship.
“Shake and I were teammates, and he is someone I trust and respect to help me lead this team,” commented Joemeister. “We share a similar approach to the game and to coaching, and I know he is going to add another level of skill and perspective to the players.”
Shake has been involved in the professional gaming scene since 2016, including his most recent role as assistant coach with the Boston Uprising, a professional Overwatch team under the ownership of Robert Kraft and the Kraft Group. He has also played professionally for teams such as compLexity Gaming and CLG.
“Bringing on Shake to support Joe ensures that, as our team grows, we can continue to focus on improving our players and pushing our program,” commented Chad Smeltz, Director of HU’s esports program. “Beyond just the skill level, it means a lot to us as a coaching staff that our players have the privilege to play with gamers they watched while they were paving their own way. Shake, Joemeister, and Xpecial are all considered icons in this industry, and having them at HU proves the caliber of this program and what we’ve built.”
Shake turned down multiple offers from pro teams and other college programs to pursue this opportunity with the Storm. He was ultimately drawn to HU because of the opportunity to learn from the best collegiate program while bringing his professional experience to develop players and defend the national championship.
“The thought of helping student-athletes invest in their future – whatever that looks like – and joining the best program in the nation is one I could not pass up,” said Shake. “I’m excited to get started and help this team defend their national title!”
About HU Esports - Harrisburg University’s Esports Program is the University’s first–and only–varsity sport. The varsity team competes in some of the most popular esports games around the world, including League of Legends, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. Team members compete on 40’ screens in HU’s state-of-the-art arena space and receive full scholarships as part of the varsity team. HU’s Overwatch team is 2019 ESPN Collegiate Esports Champion and has hosted large collegiate esports tournament events at the university. HU was recently named “Best Esports Program” at the 2019 Tempest Awards.