Work ethic was instilled early
Medlin clearly did not attain the summit of his occupation—and stay there for many years—because of compassion alone. He additionally boasts an unmatched work ethic that he realized from his mom, Parthenia, whereas rising up in Hope Mills, N.C., a small city with a inhabitants slightly below 16,000 that is situated about seven miles southwest of Fayetteville.
Parthenia was a single mother to 9 kids—after Tony’s father handed away when he was a yr outdated. As a child, Tony marveled at how his mom offered for her seven sons and two daughters. “I actually owe all of it to my mom as a result of she impressed us all to work onerous,” he stated.
Medlin’s willingness to work was evident when he turned a pupil supervisor at North Carolina Central College as a freshman in 1978. His job entailed not solely distributing and sustaining all the tools however making journey plans and making ready for street journeys.
“That was a whole lot of accountability for a younger man, however he at all times simply appeared to be extra mature than his age,” stated John Outlaw, a former NFL defensive again who served as North Carolina Central’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator on the time. “There was lots that he needed to do together with carrying a full load of courses.”
Outlaw recalled that Medlin’s organizational abilities had been second to none.
“He was very organized and effectively revered by your complete employees and the gamers although they had been the identical age,” Outlaw stated. “That was a factor that actually impressed me about Tony. He was at all times the primary one to be on the job and the final one to go away. When you advised him one thing needed to be performed, you possibly can at all times rely on him to get it performed.”
Medlin was proud to attend a Traditionally Black Faculty/College (HBCU). When he graduated from North Carolina Central in 1982, he was employed as the varsity’s athletic tools supervisor, a job he held till he joined the Bears in 1987.
Greg Tate was a linebacker at NCCU within the mid-’80s when he turned buddies with Medlin—and continues to cherish that relationship greater than three many years later.
“Tony was like one other coach to us,” Tate stated. “He was a mentor. If we had been doing one thing flawed, Tony could be the man, if he noticed us on campus, he would say, ‘ you are flawed, you should do that proper.'”
Tate went on to turn out to be a Maryland state trooper and later a member of the U.S. Secret Service accountable for defending President Barack Obama. Tate now works as a director of company safety for the NBA. Requested to establish Medlin’s biggest asset, Tate stated: “I’d say his integrity. Tony is a rustic man at coronary heart. He is only a real, good particular person. I’ve at all times appreciated him as a mentor to me. He’d at all times inform me, ‘I am so pleased with you,’ and I would be like, ‘Tony, I am pleased with you and your accomplishments.'”
Goodell helped pave path to NFL
Curiously, the one one that is maybe most accountable for Medlin’s transfer from North Carolina Central to the Bears is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Working in an administrative place with the league in 1987, Goodell was accountable for discovering certified candidates to function NFL tools managers and assistants. Medlin interviewed over the telephone with Goodell and was then instructed to name the Bears.
Gary Haeger had simply been promoted from assistant tools supervisor to move tools supervisor and wanted to rent an assistant. Medlin interviewed with Bears government Invoice McGrane in addition to Haeger. Just a few weeks later, McGrane known as to supply Medlin the job.
“I used to be so thrilled,” Medlin stated. “It was like a scary second and a contented second multi function. It was scary as a result of I had by no means been away from house that far, nevertheless it was an excellent alternative.”
Medlin was a 25-year-old about to affix a veteran group that had simply gained the Tremendous Bowl two years earlier. However he was relieved when he acquired a heat reception from coach Mike Ditka and gamers comparable to Walter Payton, Richard Dent, Matt Suhey, Willie Gault, Otis Wilson and Ron Rivera, amongst others. Medlin was particularly excited when he was invited to dinner by Ditka as half of a giant group throughout coaching camp in Platteville, Wis.
“The fellows actually welcomed me,” Medlin stated. “That was the best feeling. They made me really feel like household.”