Friday, November 5, 2010
Denver Post Article features Metro State alum Vince Phason
North High coaches stick by volunteer Alumni Vince Phason even if DPS won't
Metro State Alumni Vince Phason was recently denied clearance to continue serving as volunteer assistant coach by Denver Public Schools and saying he no longer can be in the bench area at games. However, he still shows up for the Vikings' practices several days a week, and is still determined to help inner-city kids learn to play football.
Phason heads across town to Denver North High's football practice — a practice at which Phason, a former star Canadian Football League defensive back paralyzed in a 1998 auto accident. There, he is with head coach E. Paul Kelly Jr., who also is the school's attendance and discipline monitor, and defensive coordinator Dave Sidwell, 64, a legendary former high school head coach who won two state championships at Mullen and now helps out at North.
The Vikings are 3-6 heading into their final game Saturday, against Kennedy at All-City Stadium. This is not about building a football juggernaut. This is about trying to influence young men at a still-struggling school in an eclectic neighborhood bouncing back around it.
"I was blessed to survive my automobile accident, and I had a dream at that time that life is about helping people," Phason, a graduate of Manual High who played college ball at Arizona, said in his living room. "I feel like young men, our young people, period, need the most help. Football is my avenue, where I can be the most use to the community — and especially in Denver, where I was raised."
To read the complete article by Terry Frei on The Denver Post Website, click here.