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LA head coach earns college degree nearly 30 years after starting program

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Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn had some unfinished business to take care this offseason that had nothing to do with football.

He earned his bachelor’s degree.


Lynn, 49, left Texas Tech in 1992 a few credits short of earning his degree as an exercise sports science major. Football was his priority in life at that time, so he went on to pursue a career in the NFL.

“Football has always been my No. 1 priority,” Lynn said, according to ESPN. “Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad. But I chose football over education, and I kind of did that a few years later when I had a chance to go back; I chose football again over education.”

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Lynn, a running back, went undrafted but signed with the Broncos in 1993. He played for six seasons in the NFL with the Broncos and 49ers before retiring.

“And so at this time, I thought at some point, no more excuses — just go back and get it done,” Lynn said of finally earning his degree.

Lynn was inspired to go back to school and get his degree in 2014 while working as the running backs coach for the Jets. Team chaplain Dave Szott had gotten his degree 15 years after starting college, and he convinced Lynn to do the same.

Lynn did some research and decided that UNLV was the best school for him. He enrolled in online courses after the Chargers hired him in January 2017 and completed the necessary credits earlier this year.

Do you think NFL players will follow Lynn's lead?

At first, he just wanted to have the degree mailed to him, as he’d have to miss the final two days of rookie minicamp if he attended the graduation ceremony.

“I just wanted my papers,” Lynn said. “Mail me my d— diploma, I give it to my mom and I’m done”

But then he reconsidered.

“When I told my counselor, when I told her what my plans were, she’d just assumed that I was walking the whole time. I never assumed I was walking. The disappointment on her face when I told her I wasn’t coming, it was tough. I thought about it. She made me rethink it. I decided to walk, because if it could inspire one person, then it’s worth it,” Lynn added.

So, on Saturday, Lynn was set to walk across the stage at UNLV’s commencement ceremony with all the other graduates to receive his degree in interdisciplinary studies.

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Lynn’s mother, Betty Jackson; his wife, Stacey; his daughter, Danielle; Chargers chairman Dean Spanos; and Spanos’ wife, Susie, were all planning on attending.

Well done, coach. Hopefully, others be inspired to do the same.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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