Anthony Lynn kept putting it off. And putting it off. And putting it off.
He was close to earning his college degree, but football kept getting in the way. First, it was his NFL playing career, then it was his coaching career, which saw him rise through the ranks to the position he received last year as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
‘It was just something I needed to finish’
After roughly 30 years, Lynn finally reached the finish line after completing the work he began after enrolling at UNLV last spring. On Saturday, he put on his cap and gown and walked across the stage to receive his bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies.
“It was just something I needed to finish,” Lynn told Bob Papa and Ed McCaffrey on The Opening Drive. “It was something I set out to do a long time ago and I got sidetracked with football and then every excuse you could think of for reasons not to go back and get it done. And I said, ‘It’s now or never. And no matter what the circumstances are, just commit to it, get it done so that I can say that I have it.’ And it was just something that was important for me to do. I believe in education. Both of my kids are college graduates, my daughter’s getting a master’s this weekend, and I just feel like I’m a better example if I had that paper myself.”
‘I was studying, I was researching’
The turning point for Lynn’s return was reaching out to J.D. Consulting, which helps former athletes get their college degrees later in life. The firm taught him about taking online classes.
“Once I learned how that worked and then I could plan ahead and work ahead, that’s kind of what helped me get through it,” Lynn, 49, said. “That little five-week vacation that I give the coaches in the summer before we go to training camp, I was working my ass off. I was studying, I was researching and I was getting through the fall in July.
‘At some point, this game’s going to come to an end and you’ve got to go on with the rest of your life’
“I would have rather gotten it done sooner than later. And I just think that can help bridge the gap between when you’re done playing and moving into your post career, it’s what’s going on with the rest of your life.”
That’s something Lynn stresses to his players. Yes, football is important. Yes, it takes tremendous dedication and commitment.
‘I encourage guys, during the offseason to go do internships, to go shadow somebody’
“But at some point, this game’s going to come to an end and you’ve got to go on with the rest of your life and I want you prepared for that,” Lynn said. “I encourage guys, during the offseason, to go do internships, to go shadow somebody in a profession that maybe you would like to do one day. Just start thinking about Plan B and transforming into the rest of the world.”
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