When Super Bowl XXXV champion Trent Dilfer decided to move up to the collegiate coaching ranks late last year, his legacy as a high school head coach and recruiter already had been established.
Dilfer led Lipscomb Academy to three straight Tennessee state championship games (2020-22) and won the last two titles.
After he left for the head coaching job at UAB in Alabama, Lipscomb officials knew exactly what type of new head coach they wanted as a replacement.
“We looked for a coach who would lead by faith, connect with our teachers, our faculty, our staff and our community,” says Brad Schultz, the head of Lipscomb. “We wanted someone who would help make everyone around him better. I truly believe we found the right person.”
That “right person” was Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae, who was having a difficult time adjusting in his role as a new assistant coach on the Colts staff last year. When he received a phone call to measure his interest in the high-profile school coaching job in Nashville, Mawae’s initial reaction was a negative one. However, he also knew that in his first year of coaching on the NFL level he was, in his own words, “miserable.” He was nearly overwhelmed by the long hours and lack of family life as an NFL coach.
After a campus visit with faculty and staff at Lipscomb, Mawae decided to make the move. He and his family already were familiar with Nashville because he played there for the Titans from 2006-09.
During his first meeting with his new young team, Mawae gave his players his cell phone number. He encouraged them to use it when needed because he wanted to make certain there was going to be two-way communication with his players.
Zach Piller was a friend and offensive-line teammate of Mawae’s with the Titans. He believes that the now 52-year-old will live up to the school’s high expectations for him this season.
“Kevin just prepares better than everybody else,” says Piller. “He works harder than everybody. That’s the kind of person he is.”
We at NFL Alumni wish both Trent Dilfer and Kevin Mawae much success in their new head coaching positions. We expect that under their guidance both teams will be well-prepared for the season ahead.