Lewiston Tribune Article on RUBIO

This article was featured in the Lewiston Tribune on October 3, 2014.


Documenting the life of a long-snapping coach isn’t the way most filmmakers opt to begin their career. But Tanner Gibas knew Chris Rubio’s story couldn’t go untold.

A Lewiston resident, Rubio is known as the nation’s leading guru for high-schoolers hoping to take their long-snapping to the next level. Those in the “long-snapping family” understand his instruction is unparalleled and it’s precisely the reason Gibas’ full-length film, entitled “Rubio,” is hardly centered around Rubio’s expertise with the position itself.

The movie premiers today at 6:35 p.m. at Lewiston’s Village Centre Cinemas and will air once every day at the same time for one week.

Instead, the film dissects Rubio’s background, answering the questions many have posed to the coach throughout the years.

Chief among those questions: Why did Rubio, a UCLA graduate and Los Angeles native who has long-snappers playing for Alabama’s Nick Saban, LSU’s Les Miles and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, decide to settle in Lewiston of all places?

“Rubio is obviously a well-documented person, but what isn’t well-documented is how he became who he is today,” said Gibas, who developed a relationship with Rubio at a young age when his older brother began working with him in Los Angeles.

Gibas was a long-snapper at the University of Kansas and is still attending the school, where he studies film and media. “Rubio” will show at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence, Kan., on Oct. 10.

“How does someone become who they are today? What happens in their life, what shapes them to be who they are?” Gibas said. “I wanted to do a story like that.”

Rubio was on board with the project from day one, though he wasn’t initially sure whether Gibas was serious about it.

“When Gibas first called me, said ‘Hey, I want to make a movie about your life,’ I thought he was kind of kidding,” Rubio recalls. “From that to me thinking it would be a five-minute YouTube video to seeing it last week almost complete, and thinking ‘Wow, this is a real movie,’ … I don’t want to downplay him, but it’s a real movie.”

The 1-hour, 45-minute documentary depicts Rubio’s upbringing, his short stint as a school teacher and the unique story of how he met his wife Jolie.

Rubio, born in 1975, wouldn’t spill the beans quite yet, but gave a hint: “Our relationship started, essentially, in 1954. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Gibas has a few other showings in the works, thought nothing is official yet. He hopes to screen the movie in Los Angeles and make it available to audiences online in the near future.

“Right now we’re going to release the film, kind of let it do its thing with the few releases we have, let people start talking about it a little bit and, quite honestly, I need a week break,” Gibas said.

More information on the film, including the official trailer, can be found at therubioproject.com.

Lawson may be contacted at tlawson@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2260. Follow him on Twitter @TheoLawson_Trib.


No Matter Where You Are, Someone Gave You A Boost

Here is an article that I wrote for my local newspaper, The Lewiston Tribune, that I thought you would enjoy….

If you’re reading this, thank someone. I don’t care if it is a higher power, your parents, your kids, your neighbor or even the person you got the paper from, thank someone.

They deserve to hear it and you need to say it. Think about it: Without others, you are nothing. I don’t care how great an athlete, businessperson or student you think you are, you did not get there on your own.

You had help along the way. Everyone does.

A world-class Olympian sprinter doesn’t come out sprinting. They fall, they crawl, they walk, they jog and then they run. There are steps and there are always people assisting along the way.

A top-tier business owner didn’t get to the top on their own. I don’t care if you invented the perfect “widget,” you had help along the way. From someone teaching you to read, to someone showing you how to write, to the manufacturing of the “widget,” you had help. No one does anything completely on their own.

Those people who are assisting you have been there and they have done that. Usually, of course not always, people don’t just talk to talk. They talk for a purpose. They talk to be heard. They want to help.

You have been helped. You need to thank someone.

Then, after you thank that person or persons, you need to ask for more advice and really listen. The next step is key: Make a plan and don’t stop until you get there.

It doesn’t matter how tough the first part of your plan will be – never stop. Champions don’t stop until they get to the championship. That is why they are champions.

The great ones have taken advice from many along the way, they have implemented the advice, they made their plan and they did not stop until they reached their goal.

Everything is hard when you first start. Suck it up. Get over it. Learn from it. Move on and then dominate it.

If being a champion, in anything, was easy … everyone would do it.



We Can Do More to Support Our Young Athletes

Here is an article that I had published in the Lewiston Tribune on June 5, 2013 that I thought everyone might like to check out. Enjoy!


Imagine an extremely large city. A city bustling with restaurants, entertainment and sporting events. This city has hundreds of high schools, countless students, tons of possibilities. People are everywhere and there is always something to do.

Throughout the year, the city’s population continuously huddles and rallies to support its local teams and, in correlation, the student bodies.

The cheering just depends on the season. In the fall, it’s football. In the winter, it’s wrestling and basketball. In the spring, it’s baseball, softball, track and golf. Even one of the colleges in the city has a festival of sorts for a spring time sport. The massive metropolis embraces it all.

The restaurants in the city work together to support the young athletes. To increase attendance at the games, the restaurants in proximity to the school playing offer discounts if a customer brings in a ticket stub from the game they just attended.

During the week of the game, the restaurant may even have highlights from the previous game playing on its waiting room TV. This is simple to do since the nearby high school’s media class supplies the tape to the restaurants. They work together for one common goal.

Not to be outdone, the school’s events offer a discount to anyone who shows a receipt from the collaborating restaurant(s) from the day of the game. They work together for one common goal.

Games, no matter the sport, become events for each and every family in the large city.

Everyone is working together to build spirit and pride in the youth. They, the adults, know that the next generation will be better off with support from all generations and, in turn, it will trickle down to even the younger generations. The more the adults show the students they are behind them, the more the students want to give the adults something to support. It is one big, fantastic cycle.

Schools support the restaurants, the restaurants support the schools. Even the local high school coaches go down to help out or just be seen at the elementary and junior high practices. The youngest kids love this and so do the parents. It shows the coaches truly care and it only takes a couple of minutes of their day.

Everyone is helping one another in this immense city. As hard as it is, they all work together.

Now, imagine the city is smaller … much smaller.

Instead of hundreds of high schools, thousands and thousands of students and countless restaurants, there are just a handful of high schools, a mere couple of thousand students and a spattering of restaurants.

Imagine a community like ours. With a much smaller number of schools, students and businesses, it would be much easier for everyone to work together to put overflowing pride back into the community, the schools and, most importantly, the children.

But you don’t even have to imagine. This is happening in communities all across the country.

Why aren’t we doing it here?


New Avenues for Small Town Athletes

I thought I would share with you an article I wrote the Lewiston Tribune that was published today. Enjoy:

If you are a high school athlete reading this, you live in a small town. It may not be the smallest of towns, but it is a small town nonetheless. Twenty years ago, it would have been extremely tricky for you to get recruited by a college. That is no longer the case.

Recruiting is much different now than it was 20 years ago. Before, it was all on your coach and what he/she could do for you. And, since you are in a small town, a coach would degrade your talent as being just the best of what is available. Sad, but true. With less people, usually comes less talent. That is simple math.

Therefore, the athlete has to prove to the college coach that he/she is not only the best in their small town, but they are also one of the best in the country and that the coach should undoubtedly recruit them for the next level.

Nowadays, with the proper use of technology, athletes can easily expose or “sell” themselves to colleges across the country. No matter if you are from a small town or a big city, the playing field is equal for all athletes on the Web. Technology allows even the smallest-of-town athletes to reach the biggest of city universities – instantly and for free.

Athletes can create a YouTube channel to highlight their games, practices and improvement over their careers. An athlete can create a Facebook and/or Twitter account to get in contact with a coach and send them film.

All of the above is fine and dandy, but if you still aren’t a top-tier athlete you won’t get past hello with the coaches.

Once you have set up your social media outlets to get your recruiting process going in the right direction, you need to let your current coach know that you are serious about playing sports in college. Let them know you have the desire to push yourself to do what it takes to play a sport at the next level. Your coach will also be able to contact coaches on your behalf and give you some insight into the whole recruiting process.

Plus, if you have expressed your desire to the coach and shown you have talent, he/she is undoubtedly going to remember your name if a college comes into their office recruiting another athlete. “Oh yeah, Sally is a great right fielder. You should also check out my pitcher Julie.” Now your name is in the coach’s head. They will ask for film (you will simply send them your YouTube link) and now your recruiting starts to pick up speed.

If you are really serious about your athletic ability, you need to look into a very good personal coach that specializes in your exact talent. A high school coach is good but they have to focus on the whole team and not just one athlete. They will often tend to know a little about a lot, while a specialized coach will know a lot about a little (think one particular position or aspect of the sport). Plus, your personal coach, if he or she has been around the block and has put other athletes into college, will have many contacts as well that can help you out in the recruiting process.

Every college will hold camps during the summer that athletes can attend to learn and prove themselves. These camps are less for learning (too many athletes attending) and are more for tryouts. You do not need to be invited to but it helps if you are so they know who you are going into the camp. You really want to focus on these camps between your junior and senior years. However, I would highly recommend going between sophomore and junior years to get your name in their head and get a trial run of what the camp will entail.

To be invited, simply have your current sports coach contact the school and say they think you should be invited. If your coach isn’t really motivated to help you, contact the school yourself. Give them some simple stats and let them know you are very interested in becoming a _____ (mascot of your choice). You are now in the school’s recruiting database and will now start to receive mail from them on a regular basis. Once you get to the camp, you must dominate.

Remember, an immediate knock on you as an athlete will be that, being from a small town, you aren’t playing against top talent simply because there aren’t as many athletes. Now, at the camp, you will be head-to-head with the actual top talent from all over the country. This is the moment when either you prove you have the ability to be playing with the big dogs or are simply the best of the average.

It is all on your shoulders at this point. Yes, you are an athlete from a small town, but you have set yourself up to be on the big stage.

Do you have the talent to be there?


Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.



Taking the long view of long-snapping

This article was originally posted in the Lewiston Tribune, on Tuesday, December 11th. I was given permission by the editor to cut and paste, so now you can embrace:)


When Chris Rubio considered the idea of forgoing his middle-school teaching profession to teach something that would offer him less initial job security and financial support, he thought long and hard.

Instead of educating 12- and 13-year-olds about the events of the Civil War, he would be instructing them in the fine art of long-snapping, one of football’s most unfamiliar and underrated skills.

That decision, still one Rubio reminisces about, undoubtedly paid off.

The Mr. Rubio who once taught junior-high history and English in Southern California is now Chris Rubio, long-snapping guru.

In a recent speech he gave at Lewis-Clark State College, Rubio voiced the motive that led him to managing a nationally renowned long-snapping “fraternity,” as the expert labels it.

“If I was in that class at 18 or 19 and said, ‘I’m going to start a long-snapping company and I’m going to teach people how to snap a ball 15 yards really, really fast and I’m going to get rid of my teaching job which has good union, good salary, good insurance. And I’m going to throw it all away and let it ride on this,’ I would’ve flunked myself.”

Based in Lewiston, Rubio Long Snapping has become a national brand. Such a national brand that the National High School Player of the Year awards banquet has dedicated the Herbalife 24 Chris Rubio Award in his name. The award annually recognizes the nation’s elite high-school long-snapper.

To add to his reputation, both starting long-snappers that will feature in the forthcoming BCS national championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame were Rubio-taught.

The teacher-turned-snapping expert is debating on whether to attend the national championship game, but if he does, two of the nation’s most historic programs colliding on college football’s most prestigious stage won’t mesmerize Rubio.

Even before a back injury derailed any hope of snapping professionally, Rubio claimed he wasn’t very “footbally” and for the specialist who has worked with five active NFL snappers, that hasn’t changed.

“Even to this day, I’ll ‘TiVo’ some games that have my snappers in them just so I can fast forward to see them. I could care less who wins and loses. I watch a little more football than I used to,” he said.

Rubio is part of a select group of position coaches invited to instruct high-school players at annual camps staged by the nation’s most decorated programs – Oregon, Alabama and LSU, to name a few.

His first experience at LSU was eye-opening, Rubio recalls.

“I remember the first time I went to LSU six years ago or something like that, they were giving us a tour of their facilities and the trophy room and I’m looking and I go, ‘Wow this is a lot of trophies, this is pretty big time.’ And my buddy goes, ‘You know they won the national championship three months ago, right?’ And I go, ‘I had no idea.’ ”

Ironically enough, Les Miles’ program at LSU has picked up a Rubio long-snapper twice in the past three years.

Since 2001, when Rubio received an invitation to assist his former UCLA teammate Chris Sailer at a kicker/punter-specific camp in Las Vegas, the ex-Bruin long-snapper has now instructed more than 175 players.

This year alone, 75 Rubio-trained snappers have either received scholarships or walked on to play football at the collegiate level. The topanked snapper in Rubio’s 2013 class, Cole Mazza, is poised to become the first player ever at his position to receive a scholarship from Alabama’s Nick Saban.

The accolades keep building up for Rubio, yet his prestige and reputation amongst the long-snapping fraternity haven’t outweighed the lives he’s touched, from a nonfootball standpoint.

One of those lives is that of ex-Kansas long-snapper Tanner Gibas, who is more familiar with Chris Rubio the man than Chris Rubio the long-snapping expert.

A product of Rubio Long Snapping and a native of Rubio’s hometown in Covina, Calif., Gibas still works side-by-side with his former middle-school teacher, but not necessarily from a long-snapping perspective.

Rubio’s background is one that few are familiar with. Gibas, 19, has known Rubio for 15 years and felt that his longtime coach’s life story, in addition to his long-snapping business, was something that could be best portrayed through film.

A film studies major at the University of Kansas where he formerly served as the Jayhawks’ starting snapper, Gibas is making a film entitled “The Rubio Project” that is expected to reach various film festivals by May 2014.

“When I first originally thought about doing this, everyone obviously wants to see the long-snapping coach Chris Rubio because he’s doing a remarkable thing,” Gibas said. “And then I thought this needs to be more about him and who he is as a person and how that has shaped him to be the man that he is today.”

While Rubio has sent Tanner and his brother Corey (formerly of Texas A&M) to college to long-snap, Tanner Gibas has been more appreciative of the lessons that don’t involve a pigskin and a football field.

“I think the biggest thing he’s taught me is confidence, whether that’s through life or long-snapping. As long as you know you can do it, you usually end up doing it through the power of confidence,” Gibas said.

And of course the film will highlight the prestige Rubio has gained as the nation’s No. 1 long-snapping instructor – how he’s influenced the evolution of a position that didn’t offer full college scholarships not that long ago.

With the growth of his business, Rubio has raised awareness amongst college coaches who are now eager to recruit the perfect snapper. As more and more games rely on last-ditch field goals, the demand for long-snappers has seen an exponential increase.

Matt Fortin, the starting long-snapper for the University of Virginia, credits a vast majority of that to the exposure Rubio has given to the position.

“I didn’t ever think it would get this big . I think it really was Rubio growing his business and marketing it, showing coaches how important specialists are,” Fortin said. “Even at the professional level how many games come down to field goals and you want a guy who you know is going to get the job done?”

Now an assistant to Rubio Long Snapping, Fortin appeared in all 12 of Virginia’s 2012 games and snapped on every field-goal attempt and punt.

The recruiting process didn’t go so swimmingly for Fortin, who at 5-feet-9 is classified as undersized in the long-snapping world.

“The biggest thing for me was my size . The special-teams coach (at Virginia) called Rubio and Rubio was kind of the one that gave him word that I could compete at the next level, so Virginia took a shot at me with my size,” Fortin said.

Rubio’s inspiration isn’t limited to the long-snappers he’s taken in. Players, parents and filmmakers have contributed to “The Rubio Project,” and 123 donors have given $22,110, which will help fund the production and shooting of the documentary.

The support Rubio has received still leaves him in awe.

“There’s one parent, her kid is a sixth-grader, they’ve been to two camps . She donated $1,000,” he said.

The man who has instructed hundreds of the nation’s elite long-snappers since 2001 lives a reserved life in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, an area he appreciates for its serenity and natural beauty.

The million-dollar question that he receives more frequently than any other, “Why Lewiston?” is one that he guarantees will be answered in “The Rubio Project.”

But the Southern California native still has one wish – to live in an even less populated area.


Lawson may be contacted at sports@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2268.


Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.