When Ben Brown first stepped on Tabor?s campus almost nine years ago, it was a huge leap of faith.
At the time, Brown had been living with his wife and daughter in a small apartment in Los Banos, Calif., with no furniture. He soon realized this was not the life he wanted.
Striving to make a better life for him and his family, Brown decided to follow his dreams and return to school to play football. He chose Tabor College.
Brown?s dream was to be a football player in the National Football League. Coming from a small-college football team like Tabor, his chances were slim to none. In spite of the odds, Brown, a second team all-conference choice his senior year in 2005, was offered a chance with the Green Bay Packers.
After playing the full preseason with the Packers and eventually being cut, he played professionally for the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League, and had a successful year.
Brown then started his own sports training program facility, and continued it for five years. But once again he isn?t stopping. His NFL dream lives on, but in a different form.
Now back at Tabor, Brown plans to earn a degree that will help him reach his new goal: to be an NFL strength and conditioning coach. The goal may seem like a long shot to others, but not to Brown.
Hired for the Bluejay coaching staff for 2013 as the running backs coach, Brown describes his role as helping out wherever he is needed.
?Whatever I can do I?ll be happy to help out with,? he said. ?Hopefully I can be a positive role model.?
These days, on his own Brown trains some of the Tabor football players who have similar ambitions as he did. He wants to help them to further their athletic careers, or simply put in some extra work for the upcoming season.
Junior running back James Monroe said Brown is encouraging and very motivational.
?He wants you to give it your all, and then some?he brings the most out of you with a positive push.?
Monroe described Brown?s approach to training as ?pushing yourself until the point of breaking yourself? and continuously reaching new marks.
?I?ve been there,? Brown said. ?I know what it takes and I want to help them because I know how much you have to sacrifice to get just a chance.?
Brown always gives the players a lot of encouragement, but also the insight they need to reach such a big dream and to realize the odds against them.
?I completely believe that they could do it,? he said. ?I know how it feels for people to not believe in you. I remember when people didn?t believe I could.?
Jake Schenk, former Tabor teammate and current campus pastor, said, ?One big word to describe Ben is perseverance.?
Schenk said Brown understands that life is a gift and he appreciates opportunity.
?He makes the most out of every moment.?
Another former teammate, Tabor resident director Joe Wuest, described Brown as a humble and a down-to-earth individual.
?He?s a God-fearing, people-loving, big-hearted man,? Wuest said.
Brown describes Tabor as a place where the community is full of good people who want to see you succeed.
?I knew they were good people who would take care of me for the rest of my journey of finishing up my education,? he said.
Among some of the many goals Brown plans to achieve in his future, one of them is to be a motivational speaker. Students who have talked to him testify that he is a driven individual who easily inspires others.
When it comes to pursuing dreams, Ben Brown knows what he?s talking about.