Inside The Coaching Staff: Ken O'Keefe

Posted Mar 24, 2014

Five questions with the Dolphins wide receivers coach.

If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing now?

Ken O'Keefe: “That’s a great question. I’d probably be doing something where I’d be involved with young people and helping them get where they want to go. Coaching is teaching, but I haven’t thought about that in a long time, to be perfectly honest with you, because basically I’ve been doing this so long that it’s all you know. But I’d certainly be doing something that would be trying to help young people reach the goals that they set for themselves.”

What’s something you have learned about one of your players that you didn’t know last year?

O'Keefe: “Well, we didn’t know initially that Mike Wallace’s real first name is Burnell. I’m sure he’ll love that one, but his dad’s name is Burnell.”

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

O'Keefe: “I’d say just getting out on the field every day with these players, having a chance to watch them improve and grow and help the team get better.”

What were your favorite team and player growing up?

O'Keefe: “The first picture of any of the O’Keefes in their football uniforms, we were in Cleveland Browns uniforms, believe it or not, and that’s because those uniforms were on sale and they were the cheapest that we could get. But I grew up in Connecticut just outside of New York City, so the Giants were the only team at that point in time. One of my favorite players back then as I was growing up was Frank Gifford because he was a running back, wide receiver and all-purpose guy. They had Y.A. Tittle, Sam Huff and a bunch of guys, but Frank was a jack of all trades and he was a huge force for them offensively.”

Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?

O'Keefe: “It’s kind of funny because someone always told me you’re the sum total of the five people that you hang around the most. I think that’s pretty true of coaches and how they’d normally be influenced. So I think I’ve tried to take the best from every coach that I’ve had the opportunity to be around. I had these two great guys when I was like 10 years old coaching us, Ed Carliglio and Perry Feaman. These were two guys that, they showed you how football can be fun. They made football fun, so if I had to pick one coach or set of coaches I would have to go back to them. If they didn’t make football fun, I might not be here today. I think that’s what certainly coaches at that level have got to be doing for young people, is make it fun. Then you’ll have a chance to teach the other lessons that come along with the game.”
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