Jahvid Best’s promising football career was cut short due to concussions, but he learned plenty throughout his brief time in the NFL. Now, he’ll have his chance to impart the wisdom he gained on high school football players.
Best was named head coach at Albany (Calif.) Saint Mary’s High School on Monday — a rival of the high school he attended. Saint Mary’s has not had a winning season since 2015 and has gone 18-28 over that span.
“It’s all about the culture,” Best said, per release. “I want to create an environment that is about learning and growing, about the value of work ethic and dedication. A lot of people wrote about all the talent I had as a player, but everything I truly earned was through hard work. Football is no different than life. What you put into it, you’ll get out of it.”
Best was a star on the Bay Area high school football scene in his day, rushing for 3,325 yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior at Salesian College Preparatory. He finished his high school career with 6,379 rushing yards, a region record that stood until former Alabama star and Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft pick Najee Harris came along.
Best then went on to a standout career at the University of California, where he totaled more than 3,200 total yards and 35 touchdowns in three years before becoming a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2010. Best started all but one game as a rookie, but sustained a concussion in the preseason of his second season and another midway through the year, bringing an end to his career.
“I was just looking for an opportunity to make my own path to influence young people by passing on the knowledge I gained from football to the next generation,” Best said. “I’m so thankful Saint Mary’s has afforded it to me.”