Former NFL defensive lineman Ziggy Hood is being hailed as a hero after talking to a troubled young man at a Texas high school and preventing a potential major tragedy.
Hood spent 10 years in the NFL, but has now settled into a second life as a biology teacher and defensive line coach at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas. Recently, he spotted a student who appeared to be emotionally distressed. Acting as both an educator and a mentor, the retired star reached out to the young man, in what turned to be much more than act of emotional kindness.
The 36-year-old used his words and wit to disarm the student – both figuratively and literally. After surrendering and confessing, police confiscated a weapon on school grounds allegedly linked to the student. Ziggy Hood says that he wanted to do anything he could just to cool the situation down.
“After talking with him for a little bit, trying to explain to him, there’s multiple ways of doing about going about this,” Ziggy Hood commented later. “And one way was not the way which he had planned.”
With the rash of mass shootings, Ziggy Hood’s act of awareness could very well have saved lives. Perhaps that’s why he’s so revered in his community.
Hood received the Key to the City of Amarillo in June, following a career that saw him go from Texas to the NFL. In his career, the D-Lineman registered 231 tackles, 14 sacks,11 pass deflections, one forced fumble, and five fumble recoveries. He also appeared in Super Bowl 45 for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ losing effort against the Green Bay Packers, where he had a crucial sack on Aaron Rodgers.
In 2021, Ziggy Hood returned to Amarillo to teach biology and coach the defensive line for his alma mater, Palo Duro High School. It’s where he is now credited as both a leader and a listener by his students. And in this instance, a hero, as well.