How an Ohio coach uses his Army experience to help youth players succeed off the gridiron

By Katelyn Lemen | Posted 8/11/2017

Photo via WYTV

Brandon Warner plays many roles. He’s a father, husband, Army veteran, Department of Defense worker, and for the past nine years a youth football coach in Trumbull County, Ohio. Arguably his greatest accomplishment? Being a mentor for young kids.

He got his start in coaching football through his sons’ desire to play the game. His next step was the USA Football’s Heads Up Football certification, because he wanted to uses those skills to teach kids how to play safer and have fun.

Warner draws from his experience growing up in Akron and service in the Army to be a role model and mentor for young players.

“You see so many other people and kids with different backgrounds and what football meant to me growing up in the Akron area, it kept me out of gangs, out of everything,” Warner told WYTV. “Somebody’s going to have a choice to make and something you might have said or done may have stuck in their head and they turned away from drugs or turned away from a gang or turned away from breaking the law in general.”

For Warner, it’s not about the recognition, praise or hometown glory. It’s about making a difference in young people’s lives.

“I’ve had parents say my kid was getting Ds. I don’t know what you said to him but he is getting As now,” Warner said.

Even after coaching for nine years, he still appreciates the small things, such as running into a past player at the grocery store.

Feeling inspired? Get Heads Up Football Certified here