Jay Waldron has long been one of Portland’s most accomplished and well-known attorneys.
His public service contributions are many. To name just a few, he has been chair of the Oregon Health Sciences University board, president of the Port of Portland and chair of Metro’s Transportation Committee.
All while occasionally getting away from it all with rafting and motorcycle trips all over the world.
But he is not the most famous person in the family these days -- at least since last week, when his son, Shane, was named offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks.
After growing up on five acres in the family log home in Carver, Shane played football at LaSalle High School, Phillips Academy Andover and Tufts University in Massachusetts.
After his playing career as a tight end and long-snapper at Tufts, he caught on as an operations intern with the New England Patriots, launching a career that carried him all the way to the Seahawks -- with stops at Notre Dame, New England (again), U-Mass, the Washington Football team, Eventually he was hired by the Rams as a tight ends coach, then became passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Sean McVay.
“Hard work can do amazing things for people,” Jay Waldron said. “And he's always been a hard worker. Whether it was in school, playing football or with a job.
“When he got the job with the Patriots, he moved from Boston out to Foxborough just to make sure he could be in the office by 6 a.m. every day.”
In several stops he was a quality control coach, meaning he spent hours breaking down game film and helping prepare game plans and scout teams.
“Obviously he was chasing a dream,” said the elder Waldron. “And he just kept at it. I mean he started at the bottom, as an operations intern. He had a couple of ups and downs, like going back to teaching and coaching in high school. But he never quit.”
And coaching was always the goal.
“I asked him once if he wanted to work in the front office, because he had outstanding grades in school and was a whiz at computers,” Jay Waldron said. “But he told me, all he ever wanted to do was to coach.”
In a way, he took after his father.
“I coached the Portland Rugby Club,” Waldron said. “And then I coached the Pacific coast All Star team -- in rugby, they call it a representative side.
“Shane came to all of that with me. He went to lots of rugby practices and I hope I had some influence on him in terms of coaching.”
And then with a laugh, he added, “Of course, he's in the big leagues and I, you know, was not quite in that kind of stratosphere of remuneration.”
And now the father looks forward to just a short drive up Interstate-5 to watch his son coach the Seahawks' offense.
“For sure,” he said. “You know, I've always been a Russell Wilson fan. I'm excited to go see Shane working with Russell Wilson.”
It’s a big job, but the younger Waldron seems ready. He’s coached under Bill Belichick, Sean McVay and now Pete Carroll and has coached all offensive positions except running backs.
“This, to me, is an opportunity of a lifetime,” the father said. “I mean, he got to work with Tom Brady and then, you know, Jared Goff and now Russell Wilson.”
It should be quite a ride for the Waldrons. But, Jay has a lot of rides left in him.
He plans to get back on the motorcycle and also into the raft when the pandemic ends, but in the meantime, he’s still practicing law.
“I’m in the middle of preparing for a couple of trials,” he said. “I’m still a kid. I’m only 75.”