by LAINEY KRAL | photos by Spark Photography

Developing Dedication

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Billy Volek is dedicated to giving back to the community and the sport he loves, even after retiring from the San Diego Chargers. He coaches with the Del Norte Nighthawks Youth Football program, which he first became involved with when his two sons – Benett (12) and Carter (14) – began playing. The league president asked him to help out when he retired from the NFL.


Name: John William Volek
Community: Green Valley
Volunteer Affiliation: Del Norte Nighthawks
Profession: Property Manager, retired from the NFL
Family: Morgan (15), Carter (14), Benett (12)
Interests: Coaching, the beach, traveling, family, dogs


faces_volek4Having played at Fresno State University before spending six years with the Tennessee Titans and another six years with the San Diego Chargers, Billy is proud of the friendships he was able to establish, saying, “Seventeen years of football and I still love this game!” He appreciates the opportunity to teach young players some of what he’s learned through his years in the sport, starting with the basic fundamentals and preparing young players for high school – while still enjoying success in the present. “The rewarding part is watching these kids get a first down or scoring a touchdown, the excitement they have is awesome!” he said. “To see them get to know each other, laugh at water breaks, and hang out after practice is pretty cool too.”

Billy shared that the Nighthawks are always open to moms, dads, and other community members who want to lend a hand. “Del Norte Youth has some great coaches who are extremely selfless. The energy they have, the passion, and mostly the dedication,” said Billy. “One coach drives 30 to 40 minutes and he doesn’t even have a son in the program – pretty awesome!”

faces_volek3Billy’s Green Valley neighborhood reminds him of his Nashville roots, with the country feel and down-to-earth people. He enjoys taking his dogs to the beach and working with real estate, buying and fixing up worn-out homes. People might be surprised to learn how laidback he is. “I love hanging out and sharing a good story or two,” he shared. “Relationships and family are very important to me.” Along with his sons, he also has a 15-year-old daughter, Morgan. He added, “I love traveling with them and just hanging out, they are at such a fun age. We have two dogs and two cats too so it gets kind of crazy, but I love it!”

Group: Del Norte Nighthawks Youth Football
Purpose: Educate, grow relationships, have fun
Website: www.nighthawksyouthfootball.org