LEO LEWIS SPEAKS OUT

Minneapolis North athletic director and former Vikings wide receiver Leo Lewis on his current job:

On why the job appealed to him

“I had an opportunity to take a role with a program and be close to its resurgence. When the job was made full time, it allowed me to spend my day concentrating on sports.”

On his athletic legacy to current students

“Most of the kids didn’t know that I played for the Vikings. Some just found out. I think it’s kind of a neat thing when they eventually know.”

On the importance of sports in an African-American community

“I teach a class at [the University of] Minnesota on athletics as a source of identity for African-American males. It’s a source of pride for youth of all cultures. Sports, particularly when successful, are a source of pride and identity in a community. The talk of the town.”

On the benefits of athletic success

“North is always the underdog. People see them as the underdog. I’m trying to change that mind-set, to get the athletes and students to feel that can achieve the best they can be.”

JIM PAULSEN