By Steve McGrain
Not very often can you say a Super Bowl winning is a wide receiver coaches at a small university. Pacific Lutheran’s wide receiver coach, Dane Looker, is the exception. The Tacoma native spent nine seasons in the National Football League with the St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots. He is fundamental reason why the Lutes receivers have helped starting quarterback to a successful season, with his experience and route running skills given to the young athletes.
“I always wanted to come back and teach kids, where everything really started for me, which was at the college level. It was also time to come back to be around family.” Dane Looker on coming back to Tacoma and becoming a coach.
Looker went to Puyallup High School and played football and basketball. From there, he went on to play basketball at Western Washington University. Although after two seasons with the Vikings, he transferred and walked on to the Washington football team, his led the team in receptions every season. After two seasons with the Huskies, he went undrafted in the NFL until the St. Louis Rams picked him up. He played there during the 2002-2008 seasons and had an impact in their passing game with the exiting of two Hall of Fame receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. “It was time to retire, I had a great career but I knew it had to end at some point,” his NFL career ended with the Detroit Lions releasing him in 2009.
In coming back to the Northwest, he helped his wife, Amy, at Rogers High School where she is head basketball coach. “Dane helps keep the scorebook and stats. He’s even listed as an assistant coach.” (Ringer). In 2002, his wife had to leave that coaching job to go to St. Louis. “I had my turn to play football in the NFL and she supported me, now it is her turn to do what she loves.”
Since his football days are over, he has strong feelings in the education systems in Washington. When Republican Bruce Dammeier vacated his seat in the House, Looker decided to run, in an interview with the Tacoma News Tribune ““Last week, my wife and I welcomed our fourth child, Tate,” Looker said.
“As Tate grows up, I want him to have the opportunity to attend the best schools in the country, and I believe we can achieve that here in Washington State”(2011). He realizes the importance of his family getting a solid education in Washington, wherever they end up going. He has four children, Tate was just the one mentioned in the interview.
Many football players once their time is done with the sports, whether well-known or not, they cannot get out their ego and begin life after football. Dane Looker has figured out what his passions outside of the game that he has played forever. He is a coach to mentor young athletes and to make sure everything is done correctly.
He realizes the importance of school in his children’s upbringing, which translates to everyone in some way, but notices how to impact it directly “as a school board member I could help address the symptoms of these cuts, but as a state legislator I can help solve the core problem”(Tacoma News Tribune). If all of our retired professional athletes could have this mindset, it would be different world, we need more Dane Lookers.