Jefferson Award: Coach inspires players beyond the court


    For Darryl Stewart, it’s more than just a game. He's been coaching non-stop for 18 years ranging from football, soccer, basketball and more.

    On top of it all, he referees at the YMCA on the weekends. When FOX42 asked him why he’s coached for so many years, he responded with this:

    “I’m just returning the favor,” said Stewart

    Growing up, Stewart had a lot of coaches who helped him along the way. It's why he's here today, and he has one man in particular to thank for his success...his father.

    “My dad passed away in ’98. So that really made me get out there and start doing some things. I didn’t want my kids to be saying ‘Oh you used to pay football?’ No they got to see me play.”

    He even played in the same number as his dad, until one day he decided to transition into coaching.

    “That’s when I started getting my basketball games with the older guys and the gym where they practiced at was the gym I grew up at and they needed a basketball coach, so me and one of the former players said ‘Hey! We can do that!’”

    From there, he moved onto coach younger kids, even if some of his players can't keep up with the costs to play.

    “I don’t mind helping the kids out, because I see a lot of kids out here from coaching football. A lot of their parents can’t afford to get them in the program.”

    For his other team at the Salvation Army, his mission is to go beyond the court and teach the kids to give it their all, even after the game is over.

    “I try to get them in there where it’s like, okay this is what the coach is going to expect of you, this is what is expected of you period from whatever sports you are going to get intoso whatever it is you’re going to do, do it."

    Darryl said he also runs a non-profit company, the phoenix mix, where underprivileged children can play sports for free.

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