In Celebration of Play Football, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten Coin Toss Captain was a stellar youth football coach who is committed to coaching and the advancement of the game of football in the state of Ohio.
Duane Koczan began playing the sport at an early age, but what really kept him tied to the sport was the fact that he had the incredible opportunity to follow the Browns on and off the field.
When Koczan was just six years old, he and his friends attended a youth football camp three years in a row. This camp was hosted by former Browns player Hanford Dixon and his teammates at Baldwin Wallace College.
This experience was one Koczan will never forget and has attributed his early fandom to for quite some time.
The team was influential in his football playing and coaching career.
When the Browns launched Cleveland Rookie Tackle in 2016, Duane was heavily involved with the pilot and launch of the program. From rule implementation, promotion and more, he is happy to say he was an ambassador for the bridge game that is working to maximize player enjoyment and skill development.
"I volunteer for the kids, I want to make sure they have fun," said Koczan. "I don't like to see kids quit."
Coaching is what he knows. He's been coaching youth football for more than 12 years and has run leagues for seven of those years. He's well known in the Great Lakes Youth Football League and he currently coaches Middle School Football for Eastlake.
It all started with a passion and when the opportunity arose for him to coach his sons, he jumped at it. His kids played in Fairport and now they are 18, 14 and 10 years old.
One thing his community can rely on is that he's there for the kids, because Koczan isn't a teacher. All the time he pours into the youth is his free time that he could be at home spending with family.
"When it's all said and done, you always have time if you want to do it," said Koczan. "…but, everybody's different."
Everything he does involves youth sports. He even assists with youth basketball throughout the year. He even helps fundraise for the students when he can.
"I like to think my primary job as a coach is to make sure the coaches in my league know they are there for the kids, and to have them as long as possible so the kids can continue to play the game," said Koczan.
His favorite part of volunteering with youth football teams is when the kids he coached six or seven years ago come back to the field and reach out via text to see how he's doing.
A legacy that he hopes others will remember about him after his time volunteering is up, is that he wasn't there just for his kid, but for everyone's kid. He treated every player like they were his own.
Duane is a great volunteer and exceptional example of First and Ten! Thank you for your commitment to community and the game of football.
Interested in signing up your volunteer group for First and Ten? Group forms available! _Click here to learn more about how to #give10_
Follow @BrownsGiveBack on Twitter and Instagram and tell us what you are doing to help others using #give10 to unite us all as Browns fans. Give 10 hours, help your community.
The Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Since its inception, Browns fans have committed to volunteering more than 2.0 million hours to impact their communities by pledging to #give10. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10