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Former Cardinals Lineman Thomas Guynes Continues to Protect and Serve His Community

Former Arizona Cardinals lineman Thomas Guynes did not have a long NFL career on the field but he continues to have an impact in his current field back in Michigan where he played his college ball.


Guynes, 45, has been a sheriff’s deputy in the Washtenaw (Mich.) County Sheriff’s Office as well as the resource officer for Ypsilanti Community High School for the last 15 years.

He’s doing pretty well for a man who in his own early high school days showed little indication of the good road ahead.

“When Thomas was a freshman,” recalls his coach Rich Zinanni of Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, Illinois, “ he couldn’t even get into a three-point stance and we couldn’t play him much. However, he went from about 360-370 pounds to being about 300-305 as a senior and he was just driving defenders off the ball. Les Miles, who was an assistant coach at Michigan back then, predicted Thomas was going to play on Sunday someday. He was right.”

Miles recruited Guynes to play at Michigan where he helped win a Big Ten title in his first season. Guynes excelled in his senior year and became the first player from his high school to play in the NFL in 1997 with the Cardinals. He subsequently played in the CFL and NFL Europe before deciding it was time to move on to his life’s work.

Guynes enjoys his work in the Sheriff’s office but his time with the Ypsilanti high school students is also very important to him.

“I don’t consider myself a role model,” he modestly says. “I just try to give these kids a different viewpoint on things. Just to be someone they can have a conversation with, and with some of our young men, just give them a hug and let them know someone cares about them. I try to be a positive force with them.”

Sheriff Thomas Guynes may not consider himself a role model but his actions speak louder than his words.

We at NFL Alumni appreciate the role he has played—and continues to perform –in influencing the young student population of Ypsilanti.

Deputy Sheriff Thomas Guynes, we salute you!!

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