With a constant vein of winning, number ones, championships and firsts, Michael Booker has remained humble, focused and grateful throughout his journey and continues to give back. Sports saves lives a cliché, but it definitely impacted Michael’s path. Born in Cincinnati, raised in Oceanside catapulted through football to Lincoln, onward to Atlanta, Tennessee and currently Grand Prairie.
Michael didn’t have football on his radar, but after the loss of a friend, Defensive Coordinator, Bill Kovacevich grabbed him and sent him out on the field with minimal instructions, essentially don’t let them catch the ball. The gesture would change his whole life and fill Michael with a deep gratitude to his Wild Cat DC for stepping into his life. Led by Head Coach Herb Meyer the two year starter and letterman, was also apart of two county titles for El Camino High School and earned all-league honors twice.
Along with championships, Booker also seemed to be guided or mentored by some all-time coaches, Herb Meyer, Tom Osborne, Charlie McBride, Jim Schwartz, Dan Reeves and Jeff Fisher, to name a few. In regards to his goals, he has always given one hundred percent, but he hasn’t met them all. A man inspired by good people, coaches and great role models, including his dad, older and younger brothers.
In regards to his successes, Michael humbly replied,
“Its almost strange if I didn’t succeed with so many people believing in me, inspiring me and putting me in the right direction………God is good.“
A focus that stayed with Booker, a future not even on his radar, but with help from his teachers, possibilities and dreams arose, moving him to Lincoln, Nebraska and being on another number one team as Huskers received two back to back National Championships and following Booker, the Defensive MVP of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.
Then into the 1997 NFL Draft where he was selected by Atlanta in the first round pick 11, and a team who a season later made their first appearance in franchise history to Super Bowl XXXIII with a 14-2 record and crowned the NFC Champs. After three seasons with the Falcons he moved to the AFC Central’s Tennessee Titans until he retired.
A young man who was given a car from Budget after the draft and was grateful for the ride, who also bought an apartment versus a mansion and thought nothing of it, not until he was told by his Falcon’s teammates that it wasn’t a NFL Draft Round 1 car. It didn’t change anything however for the modest hard working man.
Although the road took off in Oceanside he resides in Grand Prairie, Texas, recently Michael has come back to give back with his non-profit, Achieve Your Champion, inspiring kids and adults to live a healthier and a more nutritional life with one of their biggest programs, Sacking Childhood Obesity and tackling it thru the youth.
Michael Booker truly is inspiring and doing so to all those that cross his path with an uncharacteristic humility or maybe that’s the key, as he continues to give back and share his experience, strength and hope to all he encounters.
“When I think of Michael Booker, the word champion comes to mind. He was a champion in high school, he was a champion in college, and he was a champion in the NFL, now he is helping others achieve their champion. I’m truly proud and honored to call him my friend.”
Bryant Westbrook, Former NFL CB & El Camino Wildcat
By Desiree Astorga
You can also listen to the Desiree Show interview with Michael Booker https://soundcloud.com/the-desiree-show or TheDesireeSHOW on Itunes