Kickers often complain that they really do not feel part of the team because of their limited playing time.
NFL alum Phil Dawson, a longtime, record-setting kicker, recently took matters into his own hands. He signed on as head coach and assistant athletic director at Hyde Park School in Austin, Texas. Now Coach Dawson is not just part of the team; he is in charge of the team!
Dawson, 46, is returning to Texas where he attended high school in Dallas and played for the University of Texas in Austin. He has spent the last two years in Nashville as a member of former Browns teammate Trent Dilfer’s winning high school football program at Lipscomb Academy.
“I really had to sort through these last couple of years,” says Dawson who retired after 20 NFL seasons with the Browns, 49ers, and Cardinals (1999-2018). “I have turned down some college and NFL opportunities. My heart’s just in high school. I want to help these kids and do what I can.”
Dawson’s appointment was announced earlier this month and he already is at work. His wife Shannon and their three kids remain in Nashville but will join him in Austin at the end of the school year.
“My family is excited and I really felt it was time to take the next step,” says Dawson, who made 441 NFL career field goals, including a team-record 29 straight for the Browns. “The Hyde Park community is fired up and they’re pouring all kinds of resources into the program. I just reasoned that I could sit at home and watch the news and get real mad at how the world’s going or I can do something about it in my tiny sphere of influence. My heart is just in helping kids out.”
We at NFL Alumni wish Coach Phil Dawson much success in Texas and assure him we always have believed that kickers are full-time members of OUR team!