Pederson remembers coaching start before Super Bowl

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Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson hasn’t forgotten where his journey began: High school.

Following his playing career with the Dolphins, Packers, Browns and Eagles, Pederson bypassed professional coaching jobs. Instead, he joined Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, L.A., and quickly added an NFL-caliber playbook to the second-year program.

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This is where he learned that he loved to coach the game. He embraced his role at the school, where he would help in the cafeteria and line the field before games. “I just enjoyed that part of it,” he says. Ten seasons later, he will coach on the biggest stage in the world.

Baseball built sports foundation for Patrick Mahomes

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After leading Kansas City to five wins this season, there’s no doubt that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes can throw. But not every NFL quarterback got their start in an MLB dugout.

Mahomes’ father, former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes, had him on the diamond at Shea Stadium, former home of the New York Mets, in a custom toddler uniform at four years old. Like a typical kid, he ran around and threw some balls. Unlike a typical kid, Mahomes was diving for catches and impressing the pros.

“I started thinking to myself, I said a normal five year old does not do stuff like this,” Pat Mahomes says.

Growing up around professional athletes like A-Rod and Derek Jeter, Mahomes observed and picked up on how they prepared for games.

One such pro was former MLB pitcher Willie Banks. During a game of catch, Banks told Pat that Mahomes would be a quarterback. Pat saw his son’s future in baseball or even basketball. “You know, he’s just messing around with football,” Pat thought.

“And evidently I was wrong.”

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes finds home in Kansas City

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For a young Patrick Mahomes, a career as an athlete wasn’t a dream. It was the game plan.

Mahomes has had a breakout rookie season as starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. A first round pick in the 2017 NFL draft out of Texas Tech, Mahomes has led Kansas City to five wins with his first NFL loss coming against New England. His dominance as a younger player may have come as a surprise to the NFL world, but his family always knew he was destined to go pro.

A three sport athlete with deep roots in baseball before picking up basketball and football, Mahomes “was very competitive, even as a kid,” his mother, Randi Mahomes, says. “He wanted everything to be a ball. Wherever we were, he was going to try to toss something at you.”

Randi says she hoped he would end up somewhere that “felt like home,” and after leading the Chiefs to five back-to-back wins, she feels like Kansas City has become just that.

“To see your child get to live his dream and to know that he’s happy–that can’t be replaced,” she says.