Jake is the football coach at Bryant University residing in North Smithfield. Motivational leader, expert in dealing with risk-taking behavior, and innovator, Jake Zweig has brought the standards of excellence in training, toughness, teamwork and focus from his former world as a Navy SEAL commando to college football. Mr. Zweig has earned professional success as a naval special warfare officer and an entrepreneur and applies that same intensity and commitment to coaching his players.
Mr. Zweig made an immediate impact in his first season at the University of New Hampshire—boosting the defense to 21st in the nation in sacks, up from 109th the previous year. Now in his second season, Mr. Zweig added special teams assignments to his responsibilities as he continues to mentor the Wildcat defensive line. The defensive line excelled again in 2010 registering 36 sacks and two All-League players. In addition to his success on the field, Mr. Zweig earned appointments to the University President’s Commission on the Status of Disable People, the President’s Commission on the Status of People of Color and the NCAA’s Football Coaches Academy Class of 2009. Mr. Zweig came to UNH with a wealth of experience and an impressive record of achievement. His arrival to the Wildcat staff followed one successful season as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Iona College. Prior to Iona, he spent two seasons as the defensive line and special teams coach at the Catholic University of America. While at Catholic, his special teams earned top conference honors in both touchdowns scored and punt return yards.
Off the field, Mr. Zweig is a natural recruiter and relates to prospective players and their parents by drawing from his own personal experiences of setting and achieving difficult goals. As a result, he was instrumental in recruiting the largest class in the history of Catholic football. A true mentor to his team, Mr. Zweig charted and executed academic progression plans, identified potential academic problems early, and created incentives for consistent performance. The Catholic team responded with significantly higher grade point averages during Mr. Zweig’s tenure. Mr. Zweig began his coaching career in 2005 when he joined the University of Maryland staff as a graduate assistant working with the Terrapin wide receivers.
A life-long athlete and team leader, Mr. Zweig returned to college athletics following a successful career in the United States Navy. Mr. Zweig graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1995 as a commissioned officer. He served as a surface warfare officer for two years onboard the U.S.S. Merrimack before reporting for Navy SEAL training at Basic Underwater Demolition School. SEAL training is the most grueling and demanding physical and mental regimen in the world and Mr. Zweig not only personally excelled at the challenge, but mentored the other trainees through the program and was named the SEAL class leader. Following his SEAL training, Mr. Zweig reported to SEAL Team 8 in Little Creek, VA and attained the rank of Lieutenant.
Mr. Zweig has earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the U.S. Naval Academy. His athletic record at the Naval Academy includes playing nose guard for Coach George Chaump, varsity wrestling, and an intensive swimming routine in preparation to be a Navy diver.
A native of Steilacoom, Washington, he attended the Charles Wright Academy of Tacoma where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the 1989 State runner-up football team. He was also a State “A” wrestling champion and a member of the varsity golf team. He is married to the former Sarah Claud of Stony Creek, Virginia. They currently reside in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
2011- Present: Bryant University - Defensive Line Coach
2009 – 2011: University of New Hampshire - Defensive Line Coach / Special Teams Coach
2008: Iona College - Special Teams Coordinator / Defensive Line Coach
2007: Catholic University of America - Defensive Line / Special Teams Coach
2006: Catholic University of America - Wide Receivers / Special Teams Coach
2006: University of Maryland - Graduate Assistant Wide Receivers
2005: University of Maryland - Intern Wide Receivers
Jake arrived for Top Shot along with the other fifteen contestants. Here, Colby Donaldson, the host of the competition, stated that a Preliminary Challenge would determine the placement of each individual. In pairs, contestants would shoot the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum at three targets. Whichever of the two could hit all of the targets first would be victorious and join the Blue Team, while the loser joined the Red Team.
Jake was called to shoot against Chris Collins after two pairs had previously competed. Both men hit the first target simultaneously, and Jake was also able to destroy his second target on the first shot. On the final target, Jake missed once, but was able to destroy it with his second round, while Chris was still working on the second target, resulting in Jake's victory and spot on the Blue Team. After the remaining pairs had competed, Colby allowed the contestants to head to the house they would be staying in during the competition. However, the Red Team arrived here first, claiming all the bottom bunks of the bed, giving the Blue Team a very limited choice on where to sleep. Afterward, Jake and fellow Blue Team members met outside, where he poked fun of Michael Marelli, who met with them just moments later, for hitting none of his targets in the Preliminary Challenge.
The following day, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range to participate in the first Elimination Challenge. Here, they noticed a number of platforms set up with targets in the distance. After the contestants had gotten situated, Colby explained that for the challenge, two contestants would be assigned to one of the four platforms for their team. Once on these, each would destroy a target using the Larue Tactical OBR before proceeding to the next station. He then stated that to get onto the platforms, the contestants would not climb the ladders built onto them, but a sixteen foot pole which had to be carried to each platform. Whichever of the teams finished first would be victorious. Before participating in the challenge, the teams decided on their shooting order, with the Blue Team choosing Paul Marinaccio and Jake for the second station. Here, Jake also suggested how to carry the pole. After Dustin Ellermann and Billy Rogers cleared the first station, the Blue Team carried the pole to the second station. Jake made his way up first, and as soon as Paul stepped onto the platform, the former began firing, hitting his target on the second shot. After Paul hit his target, both men got down from their platform and helped carry the pole to the third station, where the Blue Team's lead had been taken by the Red Team. Being slightly behind, the Blue Team arrived at the fourth station later, and due to struggles on the Red Team, the Blue Team managed to catch up and hit their final target, resulting in their victory.
When the contestants returned to the house, the Red Team held a meeting, while the Blue Team went to the kitchen. Here, Dustin Ellermann read a few encouraging verses from the bible, and concluded by saying that when he read these, he thought, "sucks to be Red", which was humorous to some individuals on the Blue Team. Later, the Red Team departed to vote two people into the Elimination Challenge at the Nomination Range. When they returned, it was revealed that Amanda Hardin and Mark Schneider were to compete to stay in the competition. The next day, the Red Team left once again to witness the challenge. They returned later with Mark, who nailed a red target bearing Amanda's name to the wall, in tribute to her.
The morning after Amanda's elimination, Jake decided to help prepare the Blue Team for the upcoming challenge by doing a "reenactment" of the previous challenge by climbing onto a table and using a golf club as a "firearm". Later, they arrived at the Shooting Range to attend their first Practice Session. Here, Colby stated that the contestants would need to get used to handling and firing the AK-47 under guidance by expert, Craig Sawyer. Here, Jake took leadership over the Blue Team.
The following day, the contestants returned to the Shooting Range to participate in the second Team Challenge. Here, four stations were set up with obstacles in the way. The first obstacle was a narrow pipe, which needed to be crawled through. Next was a pit of waist-deep water followed by a crawl through mud, and finally a crawl through sand. Two contestants would be assigned to a station, with an exception of the final one, where one individual was assigned, and have to endure the obstacles standing in their way. Once at these stations, each contestant would destroy a target each with the AK-47, with an exception of the last, where one person would destroy two targets. Whichever team finished first would be victorious. Before participating in the challenge and determining the shooting order, the Red Team had to choose a member of the Blue Team to sit out, due to having one less member after Amanda's elimination. They ultimately decided on Jarrett Grimes, who was perceived as a threat to their team. Afterward, the teams broke off to decide their shooting order. Here, Jake voluntarily decided to do the last, and most difficult, leg of the challenge for his team. Once Mike Hughes and Paul had finished the third station, the Blue Team was already behind by a great margin. Jake made his way through the pipe, dove into the water pit, crawled through the mud, and made it to the third station to pick up an AK from Mike. He then crawled through the sand, slightly behind Chris, who was doing the last leg for Red Team. By the time Jake was ready to commence firing at his targets, Chris had already won the challenge for his team.
When the Blue Team returned to the house, they washed off before holding a team meeting. Here, Jake found it difficult to decide who to nominate. He stated he would vote for Sara Ahrens, which made other contestants decide to vote for her as well. Afterward, the Blue Team arrived at the Nomination Range to vote two people into the Elimination Challenge by each contestant casting their vote with a bullet to the target of the person they wanted to nominate. Jake was second to vote, and shot Sara's target, just as he said he would during the meeting. In the end, Sara and Dustin ended with the most votes, ensuring both of their spots in the Elimination Challenge.
The following day, the Blue Team arrived once again at the Shooting Range, but to witness their first Elimination Challenge. Here, Colby announced that, using the Smith & Wesson M&P .45, Dustin and Sara would fire at red foe targets while trying to avoid blue friend targets situated on a rotating cylinder. Whichever of the two got a greater number of points would be safe and receive a $2000 gift card. In the end, it was Dustin who was victorious, having gained 23 points in comparison to the 11 that Sara had gained. They returned later, where Dustin nailed a blue target with Sara's name to the wall.