Where It ALL Began...

Hmmm… Let’s start with college. I have Coach Carl Tourbush to thank, he was a vital role in my development as an athlete and person. I played Sam Linebacker for him. On our defense, I was responsible for setting the strength and shutting down any power or outside run play. As I developed into a true athlete, I also filled responsibilities in pass coverage, man and zone.

Coach really challenged me to love mental and physical preparation. After my second meniscus surgery, on the same knee, I took a step back. This is when I began to value preparation. I began to work with our strength staff (Dan Redding) and our athletic training staff (Mike VanBrugen). These two trusted me and I trusted them. I expressed to them that my goal was to be ready for the season. They had a plan for me. They explained to me the why and how. With all of us working towards my goal, I was able to compete the entire season.

As I finished up my college career, there were two NFL teams expressing interest in me. They both ended up picking up other athletes. I contacted D1 Birmingham being familiar with them as a sports training facility. I got in contact with Kurt Hester, the director of training at the time. Kurt challenged me. He told me if I could hang, I could stay. In hindsight, I should have asked more questions, but being a competitor, I accepted the challenge no questions asked. Kurt kicked my ass along with the rest of the group of coaches. I am still at D1Birmingham eight years later. Kurt gave me an opportunity and a challenge but more importantly he coached me to coach. Over the years he has been very influential in my professional career.

Carly Crawford