Teresa Conn, Owner/Coach, Pittsburgh Passion:
First, can you let readers know what’s new with the Passion this season?
The Passion has an exciting 2012 season lined up! We have many returning players that always offer excitement on both the offense and defensive side of the ball! Our big hitters, our play makers are all hungry to kick off the new season!
We also have returning MVP quarter back Lisa Horton back on our roster this season as well! I believe the fans are in for some great football!
You’ve had such a great string of success as a team – what do you attribute that to and how has it affected you as an organization moving forward?
We have a team full of solution people. There are no excuses, there is no blaming. We recognize a challenge and we find solutions together and we make them happen.
Can you tell us what impact Franco Harris has had on the team as a co-owner? How has his presence and professional playing experience helped you and the players?
Franco elevates everyone around him! He is an incredible man with a huge heart! All of us want to make him proud and to play and live with the class and courage that he leads by example.
Can you describe your coaching style – who has influenced you most as a coach and why?
My parents, my entire family, have had the biggest impact on the way I live my life. They look for the good in everything and they roll up their sleeves and work for results. Whatever you focus on in life will grow. We focus on the good and we focus on solutions and we care about one another. You will have a successful family, company, sports team .. Any team if you have loyalty, respect, honesty, sacrifice, courage, faith and fun! My family taught me that through their living examples.
As a coach and owner, are there any potential conflicts you find in holding those two roles. How does being an owner affect you as a coach, and vice versa?
I believe having both of those roles has been beneficial for the team. There is one message and one mission.. Teaching life lessons through sport.. Many coaches these days have contracts that depend upon their win-loss record.
Our team members from coaches to players have only one condition to keep their place on this team. Respect of self and others at all times. Holding the two titles has helped keep and enforce our focus on training for more than just football. We train for life.
How do you go about recruiting players – and where do most of your players come from?
We don’t really go out recruiting players.. Most of them find us. Most of our players are from Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, but many have moved to Pittsburgh because of our team.
Tell us about the documentary on the Passion – how it came about, what it covers and where readers can find it now?
The Passion documentary was created by Jennifer Yee. She is a top class producer that has given countless hours of her life to our team to help promote our mission. She is amazing in the work she does here and around the world in helping others. She saw a story within our team and wanted to share it and we have been blessed that she did! You can order the documentary through Amazon. Pittsburgh Passion
Can you describe what your partnership with the NFL and USA Football consist of and how they help your organization and league?
USA Football and NFL have been great partners in they are responsible for getting Team USA to the world championship in Sweeden last year. It was the first ever and USA took home the gold! Their organizations give people amazing opportunities that they would never have! They truly make dreams come true!
Who are your biggest rivals this season for the championship?
There are several great teams across the country.. Boston, DC, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle.. And many others. We always have a great rival with Cleveland too..
Humor plays such a big part in keeping teams loose. Who have been some of the biggest characters on the teams you’ve coached and what made them so – any examples?
Lyndsi Hughes would prefer to make up games for our team warm ups than to go through a routine, she keeps things fun.. Lisa Horton decided we needed “crazy pants Tuesdays” so our uniforms have gone from sharp football uniforms to wild stretchy pants over pads.. And for some reason many of our girls have a contest with theme socks as well. We look like a ragity bunch at times, but it is worth the smiles!
We have several jokesters on the team and I believe humor adds so much fun to any team you belong on that we welcome it!
What are your best memories as both a coach and owner of the Passion, and what makes them so?
My best memories are the moments at practice at 1AM laying on the 50 yard line with the snow flakes covering our faces.. Reminding ourselves that probably all our opponents were sleeping and warm.
We have won exciting overtime games, National championship, and dedicated games to loved ones.. But the thing I believe I love the most is the lifetime friendships made at the daily being together in highs and lows , always knowing we would never let each other fail. I love this team! Everyone brings such different and needed gifts to each others lives!
Any last thoughts for readers?
We know we are blessed to live in the city of Pittsburgh! Our grandparents lived here, our kids go to school here, we are your teachers, nurses, police officers, your neighbors and your friends! The support of this city is incredible and heartfelt!