Ron Howard was the starting tight end on the very first Seahawks team. Now HE'S the one blowin' the whistle to gather students together in the cafeteria at Aki Kurose Middle School in Seattle.

Mr. Howard, as he is known to the kids, is the assistant principal.

"Nobody wants to be with me after school," said Howard.

But spend a few minutes walking the halls with him and it becomes clear, these kids actually want to hang with Mr. Howard.

A trip to his office might mean discipline. But it will for sure mean a lesson learned from his six seasons in the NFL or the years thereafter spent high above Seattle.

"Not so much about football but havin' opportunities."

After his playing career ended with the Cowboys, Seahawks and the Bills, he became an iron worker. He assembled many of the buildings that became the Seattle skyline.

"Every day I went to work, you gotta respect death. You can't, you gotta respect it. That's not a macho thing up there."

Now in his third decade at the Aki Kurose, there's no place he'd rather be.

"They'll teach me about things about myself."

Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on Connect with Evening via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email: