Tony Levine was on the fast track to being a college football head coach once again before he abruptly resigned as Purdue’s special teams coach in 2017. A former Houston head coach, Levine made the decision to leave based on his family and wanting to be around them more. Because of that, Levine is leaving coaching altogether and is entering a new form of competition as an owner/operator of a Houston area Chick-fil-A.
Sports Illustrated talked to Levine about his decision to go into the fast food business world and the former coach is really looking forward to his new venture.
“The reasons when I was 23 years old that I wanted to get into coaching, the things that I’ve been passionate about for most of my life—developing people, team-building, identifying and recruiting talent, competing—while I had a love for those, I saw an opportunity with Chick-fil-A to become an owner/operator where a lot of those same things that I was passionate about I could keep doing, and the ability to stay in Houston was very important to my wife and I and our family as a whole.”
While running a fast food restaurant is a demanding job, it’s probably not as demanding as being a Division I football coach where you’re constantly scouting, building strategy and recruiting for what is seemingly every waking moment.
Levine’s wife Erin noticed that when Tony was fired as head coach from Houston in 2014, that he knew there was a life outside of coaching once he was forced out of it for the next 14 months. After having an opportunity to be around his four kids, Levine seemed to figure out the importance of having a stable life for his family and seeked out non-football opportunities.
After being one of 100 owner/operators selected out of 40,000 applications, Levine is opening his Chick-fil-A in six weeks, located two miles away from his house, the same house the family had lived in when he was at Houston. This move seems like something that the entire family is thrilled about and is a great next step in Tony Levine’s life.
[Sports Illustrated/Photo: Bob Levey]