The other brother: Darryl Jahn was no slouch on the basketball court
Jeff Jahn may be the most well-known and accomplished athlete in his family, but he’s far from a one-man show.
Darryl Jahn, Jeff’s older brother and a 1969 Franklin Center High graduate, was a four-year starter in basketball for the Eagles and an all-conference performer for three. He helped Franklin Center win two titles in the Route 72 Conference and was a member of the 1969 team that finished 22-6.
“I always wanted to be as good as him or better than him,” Jeff said, “and I would do things just to do that. When he did stuff, I’d do it – whether it was lifting weights, shooting baskets, playing baseball, I’d try to match him.”
Darryl played one year of basketball at Sauk Valley Community College in 1971, and Jeff would tag along to practices at the Rock Falls Armory. In addition to taking on other local junior colleges, the Redmen squared off against freshman teams from the University of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois State. ISU’s freshman team featured future All-American Doug Collins.
Darryl and his wife, Betsy, have two children, Chris and Jeremy, each athletes at Franklin Center.
Chris Jahn, 39, holds the single-game scoring record in basketball with 50 points against Christian Life in the mid-1980s. He’s now an air traffic controller at the Aurora Center, a hub for airplane activity in the Midwest.
Jeremy Jahn, 37, suffered a broken leg before entering high school, slowing his prep athletic career. He played two years of fresh-soph basketball at Franklin Center and is now the service manager at Ken Nelson Auto Plaza in Dixon.
Jeff and Rhonda Jahn have three children: Jesse, Ryan and Angie.
Jesse, 32, was a member of the last graduating class from Mount Morris High School in 1994. He played basketball for the Mounders and had some games during which he scored more than 30 points.
“There was nobody that worked at the game harder than he did,” Jeff said of his son, who is now a pilot in the Air Force and lives in Tucson, Ariz. “He could shoot the ball, and that’s because he worked at it.”
Ryan, 29, was a three-year starter for the Byron Tigers basketball team, but his main sport was golf. Growing up in Mount Morris, he learned the game at Sunset Golf Course from Salley Wessels, one of the top amateur players in the state.
When the family moved to Byron, Jahn became the first of many top-notch players for the Tigers. He was a two-time state qualifier and finished fifth at state as a senior.
After high school, he entered the golf management program at Methodist University in Fayetteville, S.C. He’s worked at Silver Ridge Golf Course in Oregon, Prairie View Golf Course in Byron and is now the owner at Silver Ridge.
A well-rounded athlete, Ryan recently bowled a 299 game.
Angie, 26, was a member of powerful Byron softball teams in high school. She works as a physical therapy assistant in Naperville.
Jahn Family Tree
• Warren and Barbara Jahn (both deceased)
> Barbara’s daughter from a previous marriage. ... Moved from Lee Center in early 1950s and now lives in North Attleboro, Mass. ... Married (Bud) with one son (John, 44).
High school: Graduated from Franklin Center in 1969. ... Played four years of basketball and baseball for the Eagles. ... In basketball, was 3-time all-conference player and member of two champs in the Route 72 Conference. ... Was a pitcher for the baseball team.
College: Graduated Sauk Valley Community College in 1971. ... Played one year of basketball for the Redmen.
Family: Wife Betsy; children Chris, 39; Jeremy, 37
Now: Resides in Lee Center. ... Retired from Commonwealth Edison.
High school: Graduated from Franklin Center in 1976. ... Played football, basketball and baseball for the Eagles. ... In basketball, is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,863 points. ... Was a 4-year starter, all-conference his last three years and a member of conference championship teams as a sophomore and junior. ... All three football seasons were cut short due to injuries. ... Also played baseball at FCHS
College: Graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1982 with degree in education.
Family: Wife Rhonda; children Jesse, 32; Ryan, 29; Angie, 26
Now: Physical education/driver’s education teacher in Mount Morris since 1987. ... Previously taught at Ashton and Oregon. ... Gives private basketball lessons at high schools throughout Illinois. ... Coached basketball at Franklin Center, Ashton, Mount Morris, Oregon, Pecatonica and Byron high schools and Sauk Valley Community College. ... Also coached football and track at Ashton.