"I once had a dream as a young man that I could move from my humble childhood to a bigger world.
I once had a dream that as an athlete I could compete with other athletes whom I respected.
I now have a dream that I can show members of a troubled new generation that they can dream, and that with hard work and determination, those dreams can become reality."
Willie Crittendon began his academic career at Taft Junior College, and was the first African American to receive a degree from that institution, a distinction for which he was named Citizen of the Year in Taft, California. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Sciences at Tulsa University in Oklahoma. He was a professional football player from 1968 to 1974, playing for the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints. After honing his skills in the private and public sector, Mr. Crittendon returned to sports academics as the Head Football Coach for Berkeley High School in 1988. Seeing the need for a comprehensive program for Oakland youth, Mr. Crittendon founded Fundamentals of Sports in 1992, where he continues to show students the path to success through hard work and sacrifice.