Clarence Vaughn is called to coach. How do I know? Because I asked him. How does he know? Because he’s a natural mentor, a loving Father, a successful football player on all levels, and most importantly, his heart and mind are set on it.
This is the first of a two-part series on Clarence Vaughn. In this first post, you’ll get to know the man. In the second post, you’ll get to know the coach. As a player, he succeeded on a level many dream of and few achieve. Now, he’s ready to succeed as a professional football coach. He’s ready and watching, hoping his next opportunity will be as a coach with the Washington Redskins. Whether it is or not, by the time you finish reading about him, I would be very surprised if you didn’t believe that Mr. Vaughn has the inherent tools to be a great coach wherever he ends up.
Football fans rarely get a chance to know the personal side of the players many of us idolize. There are reasons for that, of course, not the least of which is their need and right to have a private life. But, sometimes we get a glimpse. That momentary view can impact forever how we perceive them. Professional athletes may be able to separate their personal lives from their jobs, but for us fans it’s another story entirely. After all, many of us want professional athletes, especially football champions, to be people our children can model themselves after to one extent or another. I was recently privileged to interview Clarence Vaughn. Based on his responses, I’d be excited to have him coach my son at any level.
Before all else, Clarence Vaughn is a Man of faith, a Husband, and a Father. He’s been married to his wife Brooke since June of 2008. They met at a restaurant in the NBC Tower in Chicago, Illinois. I noticed on his biography (http://www.clarencevaughn.com/clarence-vaughn-biography.htm) that he has seven children. That led me to ask him this question: What makes you a better mentor, being a father or being a champion? He replied : A little bit of both, mostly a father though. Because you have to have love and caring for your family and kids just like you do for your players. A coach is a father figure. A coach should care about his players like a father does his children. Given Vaughn’s championships at both the collegiate and pro levels, especially the fact he played for the likes of Lee Corso and Joe Gibbs, I figure he knows when a coach is a good mentor.
Knowing the amount of success Vaughn experienced – a college championship and two super bowl rings – I wondered when he first knew he would experience more success in his pro career than most of his peers. His reply: When I made the team in training camp and getting to play the super bowl as a rookie… where I picked Elway off. That’s pretty heady stuff for a rookie, picking off Elway in the Super Bowl on your way to a championship ring. Before his pro career was over, he earned a second world championship ring courtesy of Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills. Talk about playing against top competition! It doesn’t get much loftier than that. Regardless, as you listen to him, you quickly realize he hasn’t let his success go to his head.
Heady stuff aside, Clarence Vaughn’s interest in coaching at the professional level isn’t just about his accomplishments or even his interests. I asked him if he felt he had a calling on his life. He was direct and to the point: Yes. Working with young men and helping them be successful. It’s a good thing he feels called, because the road to being a member of an NFL coaching staff isn’t ordinarily a short one. Yet, that’s where he finds himself – on the road to fulfilling his calling.
In my next article, I’ll detail the coaching path Mr. Vaughn has taken to-date and reveal more of his thoughts on the topic of coaching. I have no doubt he’ll continue pursuing his dream until he once again achieves demonstrable success, which he measures by influencing positive change in young men’s lives as reflected both on and off the field.
Check back next week for more insights from my interview with Clarence Vaughn, Starting Safety for the World Champion Washington Redskins.