BY SAM SHANNON
FOOTBALL IS IN THE FAMILY FOR JAKE KUPP
fter being selected in the 1967 NFL Expansion Draft, Jake Kupp became one of the original members of the New Orleans Saints. After a short stint with the Atlanta Falcons in 1967, he returned to New Orleans in 1968 and played with the Saints until 1975. Over his entire Saints career, Kupp appeared in 106 games while making 100 starts. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1969. In that same year, Kupp appeared in the film “Number One,” served as a Saints team captain and is a member of the Saints Hall of Fame. He was named to the Club’s All-50th Team. The University of Washington alum currently resides in Yakima, Washington. His son, Craig Kupp, played for the Phoenix Cardinals, and his grandson, Cooper Kupp, currently plays wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, today’s opponent. His family is one of only five in NFL history to have three generations selected in the NFL draft. Off the field, Kupp volunteered with
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different groups such as the Fellowship for Christian Athletes and Campus Crusade. He aimed to make an impact spiritually on the New Orleans community. Chapel groups and the various Christian organizations that he worked with influenced Kupp and had a significant impact on his life. He spoke at churches and different booster clubs, sharing his life and what the Lord meant to him. Kupp’s volunteer work in the community helped him develop leadership skills and helped him to understand what it means to be a good person as well as a football player. Kupp was once voted best dressed in New Orleans. After his playing days concluded, Kupp joined Pacific Institute, a Seattle-based motivational company that worked with Fortune 100 companies around the world to motivate people through a psychological, motivational course. From that, Kupp developed his own program that allowed him to visit high schools around the state of Washington and deliver motivational
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Jake Kupp (right) was one of the Saints’ top blockers in the franchise’s formative years.
speeches to the students, challenging them to be the best that they can be. Following his days at Pacific Institute, Kupp wanted to spend more time with his young family, so he took a job as a sales manager in his hometown of Yakima with a company called Trail Wagons. He was with Trail Wagons for a year and a half before a nationwide gas crisis in 1979 dismantled the industry, causing Kupp to look for work again. From there, Kupp went into food distribution for ten years, working his way up to general manager of a company that had roughly 240 employees. Then, in 1989, Kupp was named president of a marketing company named Quest International. Quest international was later purchased by JC Penny Direct Marketing in 1998, where Kupp remained on staff. JC Penny Direct Marketing was acquired by AEGON Marketing in 2001. Kupp retired from AEGON in 2002 and follows both the Saints and his grandson’s football successes very closely.