Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper keeps working, waits for a new heart for his son

USA TODAY | George Schroeder
Ivin Jasper and his son Jarren. Jasper family photo
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Outside the comfortable two-story house at the end of a quiet cul de sac, a simple metal sign proclaims: “BEAT ARMY.” It is the only evidence of the most important goal, ever and always, for anyone associated with Navy football — and until now, that has included the Jasper family.
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“This game,” Donna Jasper says, “as long as you win, all the little ups and downs we had all year long — it will take them all away and it will make the season better.”

And Ivin Jasper, Donna’s husband and Navy’s longtime offensive coordinator, acknowledges: “We’re not having the year we want to have. But one week can change everything.”

One phone call, too.

Jasper got one Wednesday afternoon, just before practice. It wasn’t the one he has been waiting on for so many months now. But he dropped everything and left, uncertain when he might return.

To beat Army means everything — until it means nothing. For the Jaspers, what matters is a teenage son with big dreams and a bad heart.

Jarren Jasper is 14. He needs a heart transplant, which is why Ivin and Donna keep their phones very close at all times. When a call comes, they check for area code 202 and prefix 476 — hoping it’s from Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and praying it’s a heart. “Is this it?” Ivin wonders. “But it’ll be confirming his appointment.” Continue reading
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