Edwards made many ties to his career through football-related metaphors and mentioned life experiences with his parents, wife and two young daughters during the lecture.
“Don’t respect the title. Respect the man or woman behind the title,” Edwards said. “Coaches don’t put players on the field who can’t play.”
This ULS event was part of USF’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative week and Edwards praised King for his achievements and impact during his presentation.
“He made a difference for every individual in this room,” Edwards said. “You want to make a difference for the next generation.”
After the lecture, the audience asked Edwards questions in a Q-and-A session. Before the event, ULS staff passed out fifty special tickets to students who arrived early. These ticket holders were able to meet Edwards and get his autograph after the Q-and-A session.
USF student Johora Ramotar, a senior double majoring in mass communications and elementary education, was one of the fifty waiting in line after the lecture.
“As someone who doesn't actively watch football, I really liked the fact that he kind of dumbed everything down,” Ramotar said. “Even if you weren't a sports watcher, you were able to understand and still get the deep message he was giving you.”
Edwards has bonds with the Tampa area through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He served under former head coach Tony Dungy as the assistant head coach from 1996 to 2000.
Edwards was also the head coach of the New York Jets between 2001 and 2005, the Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach from 2006 to 2008 and played 10 seasons in the NFL as a cornerback from 1977 to 1986.
ULS will be hosting Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield on March 4 and Grammy Award-winning recording artist John Legend on April 9.