NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NEXSTAR) — Eddie George, a four-time Pro Bowl running back with the Tennessee Titans, did what many players will never do: took the field in a Super Bowl. But George and the Titans didn’t win. It’s a loss George thinks about every day of his life.
Super Bowl 34 came down to the final play now known as “One Yard Short.” Wide receiver Kevin Dyson was headed for a Tennessee touchdown when he was tackled three feet shy of the goal line. The St. Louis Rams beat the Titans 23-16.
George, who played nine seasons in the NFL and ran for 10,441 yards, walked off the field in a daze as confetti fell from the rafters.
“I’m proud that we fought, but damn I wish that was me,” George recalls of the game’s aftermath. “And I said to myself ‘I’m going to get back here again one day,’ and I never did.”
While that may sound like a sad story, George, a 1995 Heisman Trophy winner with Ohio State, said he views it as inspiration noting there’s always that next yard to accomplish in all aspects of life.
“I’ll go to the grave never having the experience of the confetti coming down from the sky, but God has his way of making things happen in my life where I have that opportunity,” George said.
He recently found an unexpected opportunity as the head coach at Tennessee State University. George said it’s a calling for him to be coaching at an HBCU. He didn’t have to relocate to take the job at Tennessee State, which is where he first practiced when the then-Houston Oilers relocated from Texas to Tennessee. Nashville also has been his home for a quarter century.
There are at least 13 former pro athletes coaching football or men’s basketball at an HBCU, with seven hired since 2019. The star-studded group includes Deion Sanders at Jackson State; former NBA champion and All-Star Mo Williams at Alabama State; 11-year NFL veteran Sean Gilbert at Livingstone College; and Bonzi Wells, the 11th overall NBA draft pick in 1998, recently hired at LeMoyne-Owen.
Off the field, George’s businesses include a wealth management company. Also an actor, George has appeared on Broadway and TV. You can watch some clips from his acting career in the video above.
George noted life after football wasn’t always easy for him saying many of the skills he acquired in the game weren’t transferable.
“You have to start from the bottom in another profession, in another skillset and work your way up,” George said.
He’s now trying to teach life lessons to the next generation — and waiting for his confetti moment as a coach.
“All of my experiences and what I’ve done over the last 17 years, I pour into this,” George added.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)