Inside Interview Story by Drum, Photos by Larsen and Drum
TEAM JEGS, TEAM FAMILY
© 2004-7 Dwight Drum Web work by Larsen & Drum
"Driving is being able to pull out all distractions and get your routine down so it's a subconscious routine."
Jeg Coughlin Jr.
"Our job is to put smiles on people's faces."
Scott "Woody" Woodruff
"It's like I'm cooking at home. I get addicted to just trying to do things right."
Jeg Jr. - "The Vision" Woody - "The Voice" Nicky - "The Appetite"
The vision, the voice, and the appetite of Team JEGS are far more complex than the basic human qualities describing Jeg Coughlin Jr., Scott "Woody" Woodruff and Nicky Morse. The human part of Team JEGS is what makes up the larger role of all those in the JEGS organization to be more like Team Family. These three standouts are at the vanguard of team spirit. Coughlin Jr. applies fast wheels to the track while Woodruff tells the team story and Morse keeps the team fed.
From the humble walls of a speed shop in Columbus, Ohio in 1960 JEG'S Automotive, Inc. motors toward its 50th anniversary as a high performance parts juggernaut at a distribution center in Delaware, Ohio. The firm founded by Jeg Coughlin Sr. was sold to sons, John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Jr. in 1988 and their combined mission with mail order popularity expanded family accomplishments many miles in all directions.
"Big Yellow" has big numbers. The JEGS family as an enterprise has more than 300 associates (employees) delivering over $200 million worth of automobile products ordered from a 200 page catalog that is sent to over 10 million addresses across the world. Recent numbers claim a million catalogs mailed per month.
JEGS is always shifting a few extra gears to keep service up to speed. Here four team proponents downshift to share words about their jobs and passion for the JEGS organization.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. Woody Woodruff Nicky Morse
Jeg Coughlin Jr. is part poster boy, part executive, part ground pilot, part family man, part motivator. One might say he has as many parts as a JEGS catalog, but it's best to say Coughlin Jr. is multifaceted and a valuable contributor to the JEGS team and family. With fast feet and precise hands, the three-time NHRA champion proves that speed runs deep in the performance family.
Scott "Woody" Woodruff, JEGS Director of media and motorsports marketing, gets volumes good short words out to the information-inundated motorsports media. Every business mission needs a focused message to direct the important data in story form to as many public channels known. Woody delivers.
Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Nicky Morse keeps the stomachs quiet and the minds clear for Team JEGS on the road serving gourmet meals in the comfortable JEGS' Café, a transformed sportsman hauler. A four-star chef who has worked with Wolfgang Puck and fed country music stars his talents have been a tasty asset to the mobile team.
What do you think is the best way to handle success?
"The best way to handle success is just enjoying it. You've got to be focused, determined. You've got be organized. That doesn't guarantee any success of any sort but once you have achieved success I think you must appreciate the success you have achieved and not let that get to your head. I think a lot of players out here in not just the drag racing world but in sports of all sorts. It's a common thing. They get caught up in their success and typically they fall shortly thereafter. I think that's probably the best piece of advice, just enjoy the success that you have and know how you got there. So you can continue to make yourself better and better and make more success."
Focus is important; did you acquire that or bring it with you?
Scott "Woody" Woodruff
"I think so, because it's one of those things has got to be a subconscious thing. You do have to drown out any items that can distract you. I think that's very important. Driving a race car successfully is being able to pull out all distractions and get your routine down so it's a subconscious routine. That does take a lot of focus and a lot of discipline. I think it's something you've either got or you don't." MORE
Marketing is the key to success in modern motorsports. Can you explain how marketing works for JEGS?
"Like any other business, it's got to be fun. I think we're fortunate because in our business as much as I shouldn't say this -- we have absolutely nothing that anybody has to have. It's stuff that puts a smile on their face. Our job is to get people what they want and have them go out and have a good time whether it's building a street rod car or 4by4 truck or their street car that they want to look better or go faster. That's what we do. We help people take pride in stuff they enjoy to do."
Being a part of the JEGS brand and family:
"We want everybody to be happy. We want the industry to prosper. I think the build shows have done a great job helping that, the Jesse James' of the world. It's easy to watch a TV show and fantasize or think it would be cool if I had that. They're showing right in front of your eyes that you can do it. You can take the time and do this and do it yourself. Yeah. 1-800-Call JEGS. JEGS.com. One call gets it all. Whatever. It's fun. Life's short. It could end 10 minutes from now. You never know. You got to make the most out of every day and every situation. That's how you have fun." MORE
What do you like best about your job?
"I had cancer 11years ago and after that cancer I said to myself, I'll never cook again. I get addicted to the work. I get addicted to just trying to do things right. As a chef you work a lot of 70 and 80 hour weeks. It's pretty tough. With this job I can go out 23 races a year and pushing really hard and trying to do things, but when I go home it's a different story. I can take time and not be stressed out my whole life. The people here, everyone is appreciative. They all treat me great. Then when I need something built, they're happy to do things. It's a little like a family. We just take care of each other and look out for each other. It's really nice. It's a great atmosphere. It's the most fun I've ever had at a job."
Does the travel with your job get tedious?
"The travel part is definitely a different style of job when you're traveling so much, but for me it's pretty interesting. Doing this for my sixth year, I'm starting to get used to my surroundings and I meet a lot of new people. It's always exciting to find new things. You go to a grocery store in Memphis and they have isles of barbeque and cheap cuts of meat, shoulders and bones, things like that. It's great. You can do a lot of barbequing. You go to Seattle and it's all seafood, wild mushrooms and fresh produce. We come down here (Florida) in January and you guys are hoarding all the tomatoes." MORE