Gannon focused on new possibilities

Former University of Louisville safety Jon Gannon admits he's a bit disappointed by the premature end to his once promising football-playing career, but says he's excited about a possible career coaching the game that he loves.

Former University of Louisville safety Jon Gannon is sporting a new look these days on the practice field and its not simply related to his recently shaved head of hair.

Gannon, whose career was cut short because of a severe hip injury suffered during the 2002 season, tried to make a comeback last spring but realized playing the game he loves just isn't in the cards.

Now, the 21-year old from Cleveland, Ohio, is turning a new page on what he hopes becomes a rewarding and successful career coaching the game he once played so well.

"Yeah, a little bit I guess," Gannon said when asked if his new hair style reflects his change from player to coach. "I was just getting sick of the long hair so I just took it off. It looks a little more professional I guess."

Gannon now spends his time during practice helping out on the defensive side of the ball and said he's excited about the opportunity to learn the game from U of L's talented coaching staff.

"I'm helping out Coach Whitt and Coach Cassity [on defense]," Gannon explained. "Coach Petrino was nice enough to let me stay around and help me learn because I think coaching is something I want to do."

"Obviously, I can't play anymore and that still kind of stings in the heart but I'm learning from a great coaching staff," Gannon continued. And if this is something that I find out I want to do, which I know I want to do, I'm getting great experience from the best coaching staff that you can find as a 21-year old."

As one might suspect, Gannon admits he's a little saddened by the premature end of his own career. Had he not injured his hip while making his first career start two seasons ago, Gannon would likely factor heavily into U of L's plans in the secondary this season. Still, Gannon takes an optimistic approach to his situation and looks forward to a future in coaching.

"I'm disappointed that I can't play anymore," Gannon admitted. "But I'm also excited about the possibility of coaching. I just love the game of football."

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