Former Champion editor releases country music EP

Liberty Alumnus Jacob Couch explored diverse ways to use his passion for sports and storytelling over the past couple of years – on the field, in the Champion office, and now in a recording studio. Jacob Couch (’19) came to Liberty with ambitions of playing football but found writing would instead be his way to stay close to sports.

Hailing from Tampa Bay, Florida, Couch fell in love with Liberty’s campus when touring as a prospective student.

“When I visited, it just cemented in my mind that this was the place for me,” Couch said.

Couch never ended up playing football at Liberty, but he began to strengthen another skill set – his writing.

“Throughout college I was trying to find that thing that I loved as much as football,” Couch said. “I figured I could combine my love for football and my skill at writing through journalism.”

Couch began in the Champion practicum. He sought guidance from his editors after every practicum class. This eventually led to him being offered the assistant sports editing position at the Champion, which he held for two semesters.

“After that, I was offered the position for editor-in-chief,” Couch said. “I was surprised and felt underserving, but I was grateful for the position. It was a fun experience.”

Couch held that position for his final semester at Liberty in the fall of 2019. He was looking for opportunities in journalism to move back home in Florida.

“I interned with the Tampa Bay Lightning and thought that this could lead me to full-time job,” Couch said. “My dad then took a job near Richmond, Virginia, which left me sort of shocked with not knowing what to do.”

Couch then had a phone conversation with the Senior Vice President of Liberty’s Office of Communication and Public Engagement, which led to a job offer in Liberty’s news room.

“When he offered me the job I had to pull over in my car,” Couch said. “God, in his goodness, allowed for smooth transitions to take place.”

Jacob’s single “Football on Friday Nights,” released prior to his EP, has amassed 1,500 listens on Spotify. Photo provided

When he graduated, he moved literally across the hall from the Champion Office, into the university’s news office.

Couch is still in his position with Liberty’s news team, which is responsible for the Liberty Journal magazine. But over the past year, he pursued yet another strong passion of his: country music. On December 4, he released his first EP titled “Feels Like Home” under the name Jacob Thomas. 

“I am excited,” Couch said. “This music is roots based. It says a lot about me on a deeper level. I hope who I am comes out on this.”

Couch wanted to tell his story through his music. The EP features six tracks out of the 30 or so Couch has written over the years and is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Couch then shared some advice for those interested in pursuing a career in the Journalism field.

“Find a couple of elders or superiors, and have them be your critique,” Couch said. “Then let everyone else just be there for opinions. If I listened to all the voices, I think I would have been a different person in my writing.”

Daniel Ellis is a Feature Reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @dnaieltyler.

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