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Carl Lee on His 'Super Bowl'


The Super Bowl's popularity enables the championship game to take on meanings beyond the be-all, end-all matchup at the end of NFL seasons.

Former Vikings defensive back Carl Lee never got to play in a Super Bowl, but used it as a metaphor to describe his experiences as head coach at West Virginia State University, a historically black university that is fully integrated.

Lee, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, coached at the school from 1996-2005 and focused on trying to have a significant impact on his players for their lives after football. He explained that in an interview with

"It was great. I really loved it, and the kids I ended up coaching were kids that had aspirations, but the realistic possibility was not always there," Lee said. "For me, my thing was to give him the best possibility to live out that dream.

"We didn't win a lot of games. The first interview that I did, I wanted to make clear that I was not there assuming I was going to turn around a program or become this great coach," Lee continued. "What I ultimately wanted to do was to coach kids and get them to get through school and use sports as the ticket to get an education and get themselves into a mindset of moving forward and being the best person they can be.

"There were maybe four or five kids that were my Super Bowl, kids that were literally about to get thrown out from being academically ineligible and now are extremely successful, and that's how I wanted to be judged, by what men I produced out of that program."

Lee said continuing to keep in touch with former players and see things going so well for them is "is the greatest gift you could have."

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