RedBlacks players love football lifer 'Yano'

Ottawa RedBlacks special teams coach Don Yanowsky chats to a player during practice at Keith Harris...

Ottawa RedBlacks special teams coach Don Yanowsky chats to a player during practice at Keith Harris Stadium on June 16, 2014. (Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency)

TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:13 PM ET

OTTAWA - Close to 20 years ago, Don Yanowsky made a decision to go with his passion, not the big paycheque.

Yanowsky, the Ottawa RedBlacks special teams co-ordinator and running backs coach, turned his back on law school. His decision, his way of thinking, was part of who he is and what makes him special -- a guy who's made some financial security sacrifices to do what he really loves to do.

His oldest son, Donnie, recently said to him: "Dad, you're very intelligent, but you're not too smart."

Said Yanowsky: "I said to him, 'Really, why is that, son?' He said, 'Dad, I know you went to law school and graduated with funny names on your diploma and you worked in the real world and made a lot of money and you came back to being a football coach and gym teacher. And you've had to move all over North America.' I said, 'Yeah, son. But I'm a smart guy because I've never worked a day in my life. I've been able to raise my family and do what's my passion for a living.' I said, 'That, to me, is smart.'

"I was going to try and be a grown up. My wife said, 'You were probably a lot happier when you were a ball coach so do what you want to do.' That was all it took. This is all I ever wanted to do: Coach."

The players love "Yano."


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