Cooking For His Team Brings Joy to Howard Coach John Starr

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Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) John Starr not only serves as the head football coach at Howard, he also serves as the head chef. Starr cooks breakfast for many of his players during the school year.
Just making sure they get a good meal to start the day.
When school was closed for the coronavirus pandemic, Starr kept on cooking by fixing plates for many of his students.

Said Starr:”Feel like the lunch room lady. Last plate is getting a little extra. Days of mom getting up and fixing breakfast is probably pretty much gone. When I was young, my mom got up. She made sure we had sausage, eggs, bacon, whatever, every day. I never went to school without a full breakfast. But as an adult, I remember throwing pop tarts at my kids and some orange juice, and you better catch it, and let’s go.”
Reporter:”About how many kids do you typically serve for breakfast?”
Said Starr:”An average day. Fifty.”
Reporter:”Now would you do this every day during the week?”
Said Starr:”Yes. Monday-Friday. I think first off I started with my offensive linemen. Just kind of an appreciation for them, and then everybody else saw what was going on, and they started like man, I got to be apart of that. How do we get in there coach? I’ll play offensive line. The quarterbacks and everybody else wanted to get in there. i really enjoy cooking because it calms me down. If you ever see me on the sidelines, I’m pretty intense. This is an opportunity for me to calm down and show a different side of me. During this quarantine time, it was really tough for me. I was having a really difficult time because everything was so new and so unfamiliar. One little girl. It really started with one of my students called me and said hey coach, I need something to eat. I said what do you want? Some McDonald’s? She said no, no, no, no. You don’t understand. I want some Coach Starr food. Fix me some coach Starr food. That’s what I want, and that’s kind of the way it started.”
Reporter:”Not to be too nosy, but how do you pay for all this?”
Said Starr:”Yeah to be honest I sacrifice a lot. I don’t play golf anymore. I use that money to help me out. I don’t do a lot of things I used to do, so I can pay for the meals. I get a lot more enjoyment out ot this than I do spending eleven or twelve bucks at a movie theater to watch a bad move. I get more joy out of serving others than I ever do doing stuff for myself.”HOwar

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.