When people ask me what I do, I answer that I am a teacher and a football coach. However, when I really look closely at it, I am an investor. I invest in potential and I attempt to refine and cultivate that potential into a positive result. I feel that I do very much the same thing in my role as a father. I help people through the good and the bad. Participating in education and the game of football provides a unique opportunity for me to function in a transformative role in the lives of the young people I work with.
I am the result of the investment that others have made in me, at one point or another. Whether those individuals were people that had a stake in the outcome of the investment or they were individuals that did so with no stake at all, those investments shaped who I am.
Young men and women need to experience transformative moments. In addition, young people need to know that caring about something, especially in a shared experience with others, will elevate them. They need to experience shared joy and shared misery and learn how to function within those emotions.
For some, the football family of coaches, parents and players provide things that their own family does not. It may be a nod of encouragement, a push forward, or maybe just an adult that validates that their work is not going unnoticed. I am lucky that I have a mother and father that were always an inspiration and model for me. For others within my football family that were not so lucky, my parents also offered that to them. It is not to say that other sports do not do this, but the nature of role playing in football provides the opportunity for everyone to contribute . It is amazing what a person is capable of once they believe that they have the potential for greatness and the support to see it through.
I have seen the game of football used to help make a positive impact, most directly working with the Boomer Esiason Foundation on the Empire Challenge Football game. For over 20 years, this annual game has helped to improve the lives of those living with Cystic Fibrosis. At Brooklyn Tech, our players provide hundreds of hours of community service as an organized and mobile group. Football programs have the potential to do a great deal in the community.