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Sky view of a football field with an empty stadium surrounding it

Featured Change Maker – Joe Galat

Joe galatJoe Galat believes in the power of sports. Not just as entertainment or as a way to bring together a community, although they certainly do those things, but as a cornerstone of American values and stability. 


Joe first experienced it playing football and growing up in small-town Ohio. He was recruited to play for the University of Miami (Ohio), where he was named All Mid-American Conference and eventually inducted into the Redhawks Hall of Fame. He was fortunate enough to see first-hand the work ethic of legends like Don Shula, who told him “Football gives you a lot. You are obligated to give back.”  He took those words to heart.


“Football gives you a lot. You are obligated to give back.”  – Don Shula to Joe Galat


What makes Joe a Change Maker is his passion for kids and his ability to leverage the power of sports to change their lives for the better. As the Founder and President of  American Youth Football, Joe has influenced countless kids. AYF is the largest youth football and cheer program in the world with over 1 million members. Many of these kids are ones for whom sports is their rock. 


“You see these kids come up through the system.” Joe says,  “ And education is the most important thing. There is no other sport that does what football does for education. There are so many kids motivated in high school to get their education so they can play football. All those scholarships throughout all those college divisions add up to thousands of kids that might not otherwise have had the opportunity to see the inside of a college classroom.”


“There is no other sport that does what football does for education.” –  Joe Galat


It was for these kids that Joe was inspired to write his latest book,  Lessons from the 100-Yard Classroom. Joe’s respect for the transformative power of football shines through in each story,  which are first-hand accounts from his decades of playing and coaching. 


The book is about highlighting those all-important American values that football naturally brings out — honor, discipline, valor and courage. Simply put, this is a great read not just for young athletes or football fans, but for anyone who wants to be inspired by the greatness that comes with competition and commitment. 

You can go check out Lessons from the 100-yard Classroom for yourself here

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