Momaha editor Josefina Loza asks local parents in a weekly feature “How I Do It,” to share how they juggle everything in life: work, family, money, free time, etc. Steve Warren, a former Husker and NFL football player who is also a dad to three, is the fifth in our series.
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Football was more than a dream for Steve Warren, 34, a former Husker and Green Bay Packer defensive tackle.
It gave him character and taught him discipline, respect, accountability and team effort.
Those skills and a lesson from his mom, “Surround yourself by good people and good things will happen to you,” carried him through his football playing days, a transition to working force and fatherhood.
We recently spoke with Steve about those life changes.
Here’s what he had to say:
WHERE IS HOME?
I’m originally from Springfield, Mo. I came to Nebraska in 1996 after NU won the championship game. I couldn’t say no to Coach Tom Osborne, and played from ’96 to ’99. After that, I was drafted — third round pick by the Green Bay Packers. I played four years with them, then two years of arena ball in Arizona and San Jose.
My wife, Heidi, is originally from Columbus, Neb. We met at the Fiesta Bowl my senior year. She also attended NU. We have three children. Taya, 9, was born in Green Bay. Amya, 6, was born in Arizona. And Braylen, 3, was born while I was coaching the Omaha Beef arena football team. My perspective (juggling professional football and family) maybe different than most dads. For me, six months were focused on the season and training camp. It’s probably harder on the (football) mothers than dads because we were wrapped up. My wife would have to do all the feedings, bathing and clothing. I tried to spend as much time with them as I could.
While I was playing football, we’d spend a lot of mornings lounging around, watching movies. There was a lot of Disney back then. As the kids got older we moved on to films like “Avengers.” But, yeah, a lot of Disney and Barney.
FOOTBALL, POTTY TRAINING
A great example of how my two worlds collided… Taya was 2 or 3 when I would take her to the stadium for training. I would run around the track, while she’d run around the field. She was potty training at the time. She had this potty training video we’d watch everyday on the way to the stadium. Several of the guys carpooled with me… So there we were… Taya, my big friends and me singing along to the potty songs. We knew all the words. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
BEING AN INVOLVED DAD
I love dropping them off and picking them up from school. I love attending parent teacher conferences. I know how important it is to be a part of my children’s lives and education. My parents never missed a home game in college. I want to be a positive role model.
TEACHING OTHERS TO DREAM
I’m a big kid at heart. I love games and talking to kids… to help them think about life in a different light. When I finished playing football, I didn’t know what I was going to do. My mom always said, “What ever you’re meant to do, it’ll fall into place.”
And for me, that was D.R.E.A.M. (Developing Relationships through Education and Mentoring), a non-profit foundation that reaches out to underserved and less privileged children and families in our communities. The organization provides positive role models for young people, after-school tutoring programs and teaches life skills.
I went from everything being given to me because I played ball to having to work for everything. In the business world, an executive doesn’t care if you can jump 35-inches in the air or bench press 380 pounds. He only cares if you can deliver the service of a product.
I want my kids to remember me as a father that was there. One who loved them enough to teach them to do the right thing and treat others with respect. I want them to be givers.