Former NFL player offers valuable lessons at Stafford school

George Coghill (ABC7 photo)

The lessons George Coghill teaches his students are intended to advance them far beyond the classroom.

"My message to them is make sure you're getting your education first. Once you get that you're set for life," he told ABC7 News. Kaylyn Ottwell, a tenth grader at Mountain View High School in Stafford, Virginia described Coghill this way: "He's caring and he's just genuinely a good person."

Teaching wasn't Coghill's original career choice. The Fredricksburg native had his heart set on playing in the NFL and achieved that. His first opportunity came with the New Orleans Saints in 1993 then, with the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos from 1998 to 2001. "Anything George does he does with great passion. Playing football was a great passion for him and working here with students is a great passion for him." Principal James Stemple remarked.

Coghill isn't only a teacher at Mountain View, he also is an assistant coach on the varsity football team. Senior Jacob Clark plays cornerback and safety. "He's always there for us. He's honest. If I had issues, problems, of all the coaches here, I'd go to him, he said."

Coghill admitted, "I'm good with relating to students. Once you build a relationship they trust you and then you get more out of students when they trust you." Whether it's building relationships, working hard or treating people kindly, the former free safety says much of what he did to become a pro-athlete still applies, "It's a team concept in both football and teaching."

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