I was born and raised in Camden, New Jersey with 4 brothers and 5 sisters. I grew up in the 1960’s – 70’s where there were some serious racial tensions. The area in which I lived and attended school was predominantly African-Americans and Puerto Rican. My mother was my biggest influencer and gave me a rock-solid foundation. She taught us from a young age that there are different shades of people and you always treat others with respect no matter what shade. She also instilled in me the value of being responsible and accountable for the choices we make.
Besides my mother, I had many influencers in my life. Steve Koche, my 5th-grade teacher and one of my best friends today, also had a large impact on my life. Steve was from the suburbs and saw something in me when I was his student. My shade of color didn’t matter to him. He would pick me up in his Triumph TR6 and take me to play basketball with some of his lighter shade friends. They all played at a college level and they gave me encouragement and tips to improve my game. I’ve been friends with Steve for about 50 years now and I consider him family. He instilled in me the value of looking at the good in people.
I left Camden, NJ in 1974 to attend the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship. While there, I learned a great deal about the importance of discipline (on and off the field) from my strength coach, Pat Etchenberry. His influence is one that has benefited me throughout my life. In 1978, I was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and played there for 10 years before being traded to Buffalo Bills for my last 2 seasons. My first head coach was Marv Levy, another big influencer for me. He taught me the value of visualization and being tenacious. I was able to finish my career in Buffalo with him as my head coach. What a privilege!
I met my wife while in Kansas City and we have been married for 34 years. We have 11 kids and 17 grandkids…and counting. My life has led me down many paths and now I am living out my passion. I am a certified Corporate Wellness Trainer and most people who know me well, know how passionate I am about living a healthy lifestyle. I am passionate about life and believe that you should always treat all people the way that you would want to be treated. I want to share with people my passions. Life is about choices and I am truly happiest when I can give of my time to help others. Through my blog and Still 4 Life I will share my stories, healthy tips, exercises and a number of things that have worked for me over the years. I have had many influencers and now it’s my time “pay it forward” so to speak. Enjoy!