02/02/06 — This dad's rooting for the Steelers

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This dad's rooting for the Steelers

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 2, 2006 1:49 PM

Bob Warren always thought his son, Greg, would find a job reflective of his childhood passion for math and science. But a professional athlete?

"It never even crossed my mind," he said.

This afternoon, Warren and his wife, Debra, are packing up the car and hitting the road, bound for Detroit and a few seats at Ford Field, to watch Greg play in Super Bowl XL.

"I can't believe it," Warren said. "I am just overwhelmed with pride right now. It's a feeling you just really can't describe."

But this won't be the first time the Warrens have watched Greg play. After all, Bob taught him how to snap a football and later coached him at Southern Wayne.

"Out there on the field, his work ethic was tremendous because he loves the game," Warren said of his son.

But it was passion for academics that led him to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and, ultimately, the biggest stage in professional football.

"He has always been told that to make any goal in life possible, you need a good education," Warren said. "And in Greg's case, he always took that seriously."

Greg applied to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before aspirations of playing football there became a reality, his father said. He wasn't offered an athletic scholarship, but instead, the strength of his mind earned him admission.

"He wanted to go to UNC for academic reasons," his father said. "And his grades got him in. The rest is history."

Once he got to Chapel Hill, Greg walked on to the football team and earned a scholarship for his final two years in school. His senior year, he was named a team captain.

His father was impressed by the accomplishment, but still never dreamed a career in the NFL was in the cards. As a parent, he said, what really mattered were the grades.

"As a coach, you would always like to see your kids continue to play sports," he said. "It's in the blood. But, you know, he's become very successful in sports, but he also has two degrees. And that's what's impressive."