MENLO PARK, Calif. (KRON) — At age 62, Steve Young no longer has the skills and athleticism that made him one of the most electrifying players in NFL history, but he is still spreading his love of the game of football.
Young, once a Hall of Fame quarterback for the 49ers, is now on the sidelines as an assistant coach for Menlo High School’s girls’ flag football team. He is coaching his daughters, freshman Laila and senior Summer.
Both of Young’s daughters have been involved in sports their whole lives, from gymnastics to soccer. But when California announced girls’ flag football would become an official high school sport, the girls jumped at the chance to play the sport that made their dad a legend.
“Being able to actually play the sport, it brings a whole new love for the sport,” said Summer. “He had a very humbling moment where he realized, ‘Oh, my girls never had the opportunity to play this sport. Like, I was so lucky to be able to play it.'”
“The joy that they had from being a part of the game that they’ve watched forever and being told that they couldn’t play,” Steve said. “And suddenly, you can play it. The joy they had in being included… the inclusion thing was real and I felt it right away.”
While three members of the family are on the field, they have a big fan in the stands. Barb Young never thought she would be a football mom, but she’s been at all the games and loves the way father and daughters have bonded over the game.
“This is something that he is an expert at, and now he gets to actually share that expertise with his daughters,” Barb said. “And how cool is that?”
The game of football is a hard-fought sport, and that isn’t lost on the Young sisters. They understand the brutality of the game and respect it. And they have a whole new respect for the position their dad plays.
“I know how hard it is to be a quarterback,” Summer said. “One practice all of our quarterbacks were hurt, and so I go in and I get sacked the first time. I’m like ‘How do you do this?'”
The season is now over. Laila will be back for another season of flag football, while Summer is moving on to college. But for one perfect season, the Youngs were a real football family all together.
“Summer turned to me one day,” Steve said. “She’s been a gymnast, she’s played basketball, she played soccer, track and field, she’s played all kinds of sports. And she turned to me the other day and said, ‘Dad, football’s my favorite sport. I don’t want to play anything else. I love it. I mean, that’s just amazing.”