When Terry Metcalf set the NFL record for most combined yards in a season back in 1975, teaching preschool was never in the equation.
But today, as he draws up lesson plans for 3- and 4-year-olds, the gridiron glory days feel more like a distant memory.
"I found myself years ago doing this," said Metcalf. He's now a teacher at Greater Trinity Christian Learning Academy in Everett.
Metcalf, 65, turned to teaching kindergarten in 1990 while also serving as football coach at Renton High School. He quickly learned that educating children was a new found passion. In some cases, lessons he learned on the football field translate well to the classroom.
He loves it so much, he commutes 30 miles each way every morning to get to work.
"Sometimes the kids come in, and they don’t know anything, and they don’t have much confidence," he said. "But when I get through, they have confidence, and they believe they can do anything."
Metcalf teaches the children like a good coach mentors his players. He puts heart into every lesson and makes learning fun.
"The hard work and dedication is what also makes a good athlete," he said.
Metcalf isn't the only NFL player involved. Seattle Seahawks great Kenny Easley cut the ribbon when the school opened 17 years ago and is still involved in some capacity.
Greater Trinity Academy focuses on low-income families and homeless children. It's estimated there are currently some 35,000 homeless children in Washington State.
Greater Trinity founder Dr. Paul Stoot Sr. says the mission is to serve underprivileged children.
"This place is a place where magic is taking place and (the children) are now discovering what hope really is," said Stoot.
With many of the children coming from broken homes, Metcalf also finds himself serving a different role.
"I've been in a similar situation," he said. "A lot of times the dad is not there. Sometimes they call me 'Papa.' Sometimes they call me 'uncle.' It comes with the territory."
Stoot waves tuition for many of the students, so the school has opened up a gofundme.com page to reach a new $50,000 STEM program fundraising goal, and expand to serve more children.