- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for a Veterans Day story.
The complete story is running over on our main NFL page and I strongly suggest you go check it out.
But let me share a little bit with you here.
Sullivan’s a unique story on his own. He’s a West Point graduate and played football there. He went on to become an Army Ranger, but his military career was cut short by a back injury. Sullivan then got into coaching, largely because he felt that’s where he could best use the skills he learned in the military.
"It wasn't necessarily ever in my mind to someday get into coaching," Sullivan said. "I think it was that experience of leading at that level as a junior officer and working through stressful situations individually and as a group to accomplish a goal and then to see a unit go out and get tested and performing well and seeing guys developing -- that's what inspired me to get into the coaching field."
Although he’s been out of the military since 1993, it remains an important part of Sullivan’s life. As the Bucs hold several Veterans Day events before Sunday’s game with the San Diego Chargers at Raymond James Stadium, Sullivan said he’ll be thinking of present and past military members.
He also talked at length about his close friendship with Colonel Greg Gadson, who was a classmate and teammate at West Point. If you haven’t followed the New York Giants, where Sullivan previously coached, in recent years and don’t know Gadson’s background, please go read the main story.