The Denver Broncos are headed to the Super Bowl this Sunday, and Winnipeg-born Jason George will be part of the team trying to coach them to a win.
George is an assistant conditioning coach with the team, and was born and raised in Winnipeg.
“I love it — Winnipeg is always going to be home for me,” said George, 45. “I don’t miss the cold winters — that’s the one thing I won’t miss, but I love it.”
George played football with the St. Vital Mustangs and went on to coach the Crusaders at St. Paul’s High School before being hired by the University of Kansas.
His first NFL gig was with the Jacksonville Jaguars before going to Kansas and then onto the Broncos as a strength and conditioning coach. Now, he works with big names like Peyton Manning.
"[I] got an opportunity with Kansas as a strength conditioning coach and realized I liked the strength conditioning aspect and the physical preparation aspect for the sport as much or more as a co-ordinator,” said George. “That’s the route I ended up taking and staying on that path."
George’s father Wilf still lives in Winnipeg’s Southdale neighbourhood, and George said he comes back to visit often.
“I will always be coming back. It’s where I grew up. It’s home for me,” said George.
This weekend, George’s family and friends will be flying down to see him coach the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Everyone from his best friend to his sister are flying out.
His dad, though, will be watching proudly from home.
“I’m getting more nervous by the day,” said Wilf. “I’m almost a wreck already, so I don’t know what it will be like come game day.”
Wilf said he always knew his son was determined enough to make it to the NFL.
“I just appreciate the support. I have heard from a lot of people back home in terms of emails, text messages — all that kind of stuff,” said George. “It makes me even more proud to be from there.”
George’s Broncos will take the field opposite the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
“We’ve got the Number 1 offence in the history of the NFL here in Denver, against the best defence in the league this year,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great game.”