Kevin Mawae, part of the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, had a successful playing career spanning 16 seasons. The former center who now coaches for ASU has left his mark on the sport, but his journey began long before he ever picked up a football.
For Mawae, it was his parents’ tough love and discipline that influenced him from a very young age to commit 100% to everything he did. He credits his father, a veteran of the United States Army, with helping keep him on the path to success.
“You didn’t let us off the hook and I’m a better man for it,” Mawae told his parents during his acceptance speech.
When asked about his role models, there was never a doubt.
“It was never a hard answer,” he told his parents. “It was easy. It’s always been you”
Mawae’s father, Sgt. 1st Class David Mawae, was a decorated soldier who spent 23 years in the U.S. Army. As a child, Mawae watched his father take pride in everything from putting on his uniform to taking care of his helicopter.
Mawae would spend his childhood like most children in military families do, moving around. He spent three years in Fort Riley, Kansas, and five years in Germany. It was there where Mawae began playing football.
In being the child of an army soldier, Mawae learned not to “half-ass anything,” and that anything worth doing is worth doing right on the first try.
Today, this mantra extends to Mawae’s family. Now a husband and a father of two, his priorities have shifted, but his commitment has remained the same.
“Being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor, but my two greatest joys are the accomplishments of you two,” Mawae said to his kids.
His appreciation also extends to his wife of 26 years, Tracy Mawae. In his speech, he said there just aren’t enough words to tell anyone how much she has meant to him. He says that she is his greatest fan, cheerleader, and best friend.
“If the Hall of Fame ever made a bust of what a Hall of Fame wife should look like, they’d only need to see you,” Mawae said. “You’re the epitome of what a Hall of Fame wife should look like.”