Steve Brady will tell you he was never one of the big stars on the BYU football team. It’s simply a part of his natural modesty. But he will tell you being part of the team has had a great impact on his life.
Football has taught Brady some of life’s greatest lessons and continues to help him through life’s biggest challenges.
He won’t bring it up, but most BYU fans remember him as a fiercely competitive defensive back who played alongside his twin brother, Mark. He played in the “Miracle Bowl,” and both he and his brother eventually signed as free agents with the Denver Broncos, but an injury cut Steve Brady’s professional career short.
“I never really played for (the Broncos),” Brady said. “I got cut and then they brought me back, and so I just practiced with them. I never got to play in a game.”
Football, however, remains an important part of his life. He uses what he learned from the game to help others, particularly young men who are struggling to find their way through life.
Since graduating from BYU, Brady has worked as a physical trainer and football coach striving to help people overcome their difficulties.
“I’ve worked a lot with teenagers, and I love it,” Brady said. “I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some really great kids.”
Brady and his wife, Sue, earned undergraduate degrees in psychology at BYU and went on to pursue careers helping troubled teens.
“I worked with troubled teens for about 10 years at a residential treatment facility called Provo Canyon School,” Brady said. “My wife still works there. She loves her job; she doesn’t take her work home with her as much and I did, so I got out of it.”
Although he no longer works at the residential facility, Brady continues to work with teen boys as he helps coach the football team at Pleasant Grove High School.
“Right out of college, I coached at Timpview High School for a while and then I got out of coaching and I worked,” Brady said. “Then I started coaching my son’s Little League team and the coach asked me to start helping out. By the time my son was in high school, they asked me to start helping out coaching at Pleasant Grove, and I have been doing that ever since.”
Brady’s passion for helping people with their physical well-being was largely influenced by the death of his grandmother.
“I started out studying accounting in school, and then I was going to get into this area but it was different back then, so I didn’t like it,” Brady said. “But then my grandmother passed away and she was a great lady, but she didn’t eat healthy and she had a heart attack. She was (in her) early 70s; she had a lot of life left to live, and she didn’t get to live it.”
Since then, Brady has dedicated his time to helping people get back into shape and lead healthier lives.
“That moment kind of twisted my arm to get into this field,” Brady said, referring to his grandmother’s death. “That’s the kind of people I like to work with, to help people change their lives.”
Brady is currently the first counselor in a freshman ward bishopric on BYU’s campus. Brady and his wife love working with the youth in the ward and helping them with their needs.
“My wife and I both have worked a lot with teenagers,” Brady said. “Along with working at the rehab facility, Sue has worked a lot in Young Women’s for a while, and now she teaches the 16-year-old Sunday School class at church. She loves them, and they love her.”
The Bradys recently experienced a dramatic change in their lives when, last fall, Brady’s wife was diagnosed with colon cancer.
“It’s been a major impact: your whole life changes when you find out something like that,” Brady said.
But Brady says the couple has seen many blessings come through the experience.
“The love and support from people has been amazing,” Brady said. “She’s doing good now. She went through chemo, and it’s been a slow process regaining strength, but she’s doing really well. We are waiting to hear what will happen. They went in and removed half of her colon.”
Having helped others throughout their marriage, Brady and his wife feel thankful that they now have the support of others through this experience.