Jake Koehnke didn’t bother standing in the way of a perfectly reasonable assumption.
When the Air Force senior placekicker auditioned for the local band Between the Heart, they just figured his experience kicking in front of a crowd – his 47-yard boot as well as his missed PAT against Colorado were witnessed by 49,282 in person in addition to the Pac-12 Network audience – would leave him at ease while playing live gigs.
“They were like, ‘Dude, you’re going to fine with the nerves on stage,’” said Koehnke, who took over kicking and punting duties last year. “But I think I’ll actually felt more nervous. I’ve been kicking forever. But this is something out of my comfort zone, it’s something I’ve never done before.”
Koehne landed the role in his first band through clips he posted on Instagram. He describes the bands style as “modern rock” with influences from bands like Thursday and Taking Back Sunday.
He’s actually replacing the rhythm guitarist who left to enlist in the Air Force.
“I’m joining pretty late,” said Koehnke, who has made 10-of-13 field-goal attempts since securing the position midway through his junior season. “They already have a record out and a couple of singles.”
So add musician to Koehnke’s possible destinations. The management major from Carlsbad, Calif., has applied for a pilot training slot and he also plans to kick at Air Force’s Pro Day. Seeing his former long snapper Austin Cutting go immediately to the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings has certainly made that seem like a more realistic goal for the senior who feels comfortable at any distance inside 60 yards.
Make no assumptions about where the future might take Koehnke.
“I’m not going to close any doors,” he said.