SPECIAL REPORT: From Pro Athlete to Public Servant - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SPECIAL REPORT: From Pro Athlete to Public Servant

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Many see the glitz and glamour of being a professional athlete but what about when it's over?

Two former NFL players who are back in Southwest Louisiana, Kip Texada and Kevin Guidry, say they wanted to make a difference in the community once their playing days were done. 

"I wanted to take all of my experiences from all the big cities and bring it back to Lake Charles," Texada said. "I'm going to do everything possible to be a servant until I'm finished, until I can't breathe anymore."

"One thing I said I would do once I became an elected official is to give the kids the opportunity to find a future in sports," Guidry said.

Before playing the NFL, Kevin Guidry played for Louisiana State University as a wide receiver.

Guidry said his future remained unclear even as he got closer to his senior year.

"I had no aspirations of going and playing professional football," said Guidry. "It was just something I didn't think could happen to me."

Guidry was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos in 1988.

He played two years in the NFL and a few years in the arena football league before hanging up the cleats and heading back to Southwest Louisiana.

"And my wife said what do you have thoughts on doing Kevin, I said I really don't know," Guidry said. "But at the time there was all this talk about the casinos."

Guidry was offered a job working in Public Relations for the Isle of Capri Casino.

"I've been working there for 18 years and I think midway through I started seeing a lot of stuff happening in the community and I was saying to myself why isn't this getting done," Guidry said. "Seeing things on the news and wondering why people are having a hard time getting good roads and trash picked up and didn't know what was going on so I said I'll run for office."

Guidry ran for the District Nine police jury seat and won.

He said it was important for him to be an influence for those who grew up in similar situations as him.

"To me as a person and as an elected official, why am I sitting in the seat if I'm not trying to improve the quality of life for the people I serve?" Guidry said.

Someone Guidry once lined up against, Kip Texada, is back in the Lake Area using what he learned during his time as a professional athlete to make a difference as well.

Texada now spends his days as the executive director for Ward 3 recreation, developing programs and events to help the area's youth.

He said his path to the pros wasn't easy.

Texada played college football for McNeese State University where he jumped from number five to one on the depth chart.

Texada went on to be an all-conference defensive back his senior year and says he was certain he'd be drafted.

"The draft came, I just knew I was going to get drafted by the New York Giants," Texada said. "But the phone never did ring, and it was one of the most down days of my life."

"I never gave up hope."

Texada was picked up by the Montreal Machine in 1992, a World League of American Football team, and played a few games before finishing the rest of the season with the San Antonio Riders.

"At the end of that season my phone rang and it was the Philadelphia Eagles," Texada said. "I went to Philadelphia and had an unbelievable workout and I got signed."

Texada was released later in the season but didn't give up on his dream.

Texada played five years for different teams in the Canadian Football League before moving back to Lake Charles. 

He was then offered a head coaching position for the indoor football team, the Lake Charles Landsharks.

Texada coached the team for six years, while also teaching at Oak Park Middle.

While his teaching and playing days are over, Texada said he brings everything he learned on the field into his current career.

"We're in recreation but we are servants for this community," Texada said. "And we have to have a team concept of everybody coming together and bringing the best programs so we can continue to make a difference in this community."

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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