To some, Tyrone Keys may be noteworthy because of his personal accomplishments on the football field as a defensive Most Valuable
Player (MVP) in high school and college, or former Super Bowl XX Chicago Bears defensive end. Tyrone, however, remembered to give honor to whom honor is due, and graciously acknowledged his mentor’s words at Callaway High School, Coach Odell Jenkins: “Sow a thought…reap a word. Sow a word…reap an action. Sow an action…reap a destiny. Sow into a destiny…reap character”.
Tyrone is from Jackson, Mississippi, where he was named a High School All-American and voted defensive MVP of the year in the state of Mississippi in 1977. His high school team also won the state championship in 1976.
After graduating from Mississippi State in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, Tyrone began his nine-year professional football career. Tyrone was the 5th Round (113th player) draft pick, defensive end, for the 1981 New York Jets. However, he decided to start his career for two seasons in
the Canadian Football League with the British Columbia (BC) Lions.
In 1983, Keys returned to the National Football League (NFL) to launch a successful seven-year career. He signed with the Chicago Bears as a defensive end where he remained through the 1985 Super Bowl XX Championship year (46-10 over the New England Patriots). The Bears were 18-1 and their only loss was to the Miami Dolphins eight weeks prior to the Super Bowl, December 2, 1985. The Bears-vs.-Dolphins game had the highest number of viewers in the history of football. Keys and his team mates produced the Super Bowl Shuffle on the next day, December 3, 1985. Tyrone was the keyboardist in the Super Bowl Shuffle video which was nominated for a GRAMMY Award and sold over a million copies.
Keys founded “All Sports Community Service, Inc.” in 1993 as a non-profit mentoring and scholarship organization dedicated to helping challenged youth in Tampa, Florida, achieve their dream of attending college. Keys taught his students the idea that the skills from the playing field could be parlayed onto the field of life. Since 1993, All Sports has assisted hundreds of students obtain over $20 million in support towards their college education from all over this country and in England as well. All Sports students are mentored through a combination of academics, community service and sports. Great emphasis is placed on returning to the community to assist the next generation. All Sports is now seeing the Full Circle Participation in action with its students returning to invest time, energy and scholarship funds into the program and the community.
Tyrone Keys’ relationship with the Hillsborough County School District dates back to 1986. While still playing in the National Football League, he started serving the district as a substitute teacher at Leto High School. After retiring from the NFL due to career-ending back injury, he extended his work with the district, becoming
a substitute and coach at Chamberlain High School and Gaither High School in the early 1990s. Keys began to focus his efforts on helping student athletes navigate the system and move on to college. His efforts intensified after the death of Albert Perry, a former Leto High running back whose life may have taken a different course if he had escaped his impoverished neighborhood. Perry instead was shot and killed in a senseless dispute. Inspired, Keys formed All-Sports Community Service, the nonprofit organization that would eventually help thousands of student-athletes and students go to college. That work strengthened his connection with Leto High, and for the last 12 years, he’s returned to Leto to watch two of his former students present scholarships to current seniors.