NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For Keenan Lewis, a career in the NFL was all he ever wanted.
“I had been dreaming about playing in the NFL since the age of five,”
And he made it, for seven years, three for his hometown New Orleans Saints. Now 33 years old, Lewis’ playing career is done, but the game of football is still a force in his life, just in a different role. Lewis returned to his alma mater, Landry Walker, as head football coach.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” Lewis said. "Actually, this is my dream job. "
Lewis graduated from then O.Perry Walker back in 2004. He now takes over a program that has both built-in advantages and challenges. The biggest plus is the athleticism within the program, but the challenge is channeling that talent into discipline. It’s something Lewis believes a coach can impact because it happened to him.
“I had an opportunity to work with coaches and they instilled that in me as for as coach frank, Payton, Mike Tomlin, Mike Riley," Lewis said. "A great group of coaches that had me, and I know that’s what you need.”
It’s also a full-time commitment with as much effort off the field as it will be on the field with his players. Many of those players will lean on him for guidance. And it certainly helps that every single player can look to their head coach and see living proff that success can follow those that work hard, regardless of their circumstance.
“I think it carries a lot when they have a coach that’s done it before and not just telling them ‘oh you got to do this; you got to do that.’ And also I get out there and I work out with them everyday so. They see and know my background, I’ve been there before, it’s kind of like giving them that motivation like ‘coach can do it, so can I.’”
Landry Walker will play in 4A this year in one of the toughest districts in the state, but Lewis believes his team should have success in 2019.