Former Butler, PSU LB sharing insights with young players
Football may have taken Tyrell Sales around the world, but the Butler native has found his way back home, and he is happy to have the chance to share his football experiences every chance he gets.
Sales is a member of the Seneca Valley High School football coaching staff, and he takes time whenever he can to speak at local camps and share his knowledge with the next group of rising stars.
Sales was a standout linebacker at Butler. He earned several accolades, perhaps the most notable of which was an offer to play football at Penn State University.
In his four years with the Nittany Lions, Sales helped the team win a Big 10 title and play in three bowl games, winning all three.
He went on to play with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in 2010.
The following season, Sales played in the Arena Football League for the Jacksonville Sharks.
Then, he played in Italy before moving on to his current position as the director of sports for locally-based Revolution Physical Therapy in Cranberry.
“I am fortunate to have been all over the world, and with football I now have the opportunity to coach,” Sales said.
“I apply team sports to everything I do (coaching and the business world), and it is cool to be a mentor and show the kids and see how they are able to approach the game.”
During his time as a college and pro player, Sales was around successful programs.
The Colts won the Super Bowl in 2009; the Alouettes won the Grey Cup in 2010, the Sharks won Arena Bowl XXIV in 2011, and his Parma Panthers, a team in Italy, won that country's version of the Super Bowl in what was his final season of football.
One message he shares with all the young players he encounters is that it is important to be a student of the game.
“Peyton Manning, Aaron Garcia (quarterback for the Sharks), Anthony Calvillo (from Montreal), are all students of the game, and they all work their tail off,” Sales said. “They set a standard and never want to be outworked.”
His message is positive, and the fact he has been around means something to the young players he is trying to reach.
“Ty has a lot of credibility because he has looked through the facemask,” Seneca Valley football coach Don Holl said.
“He has been there and done that, but what can't be overlooked is his excellent communication skills, plus he is a good teacher. He has a way of presenting stuff in a clear and concise way, and he is diligent about checking up on the players, and he is demanding. He is enthusiastic, and I know he does a great job at his day job as well.”
Sales played with some of the all-time greats in the pros and college. At Penn State he played alongside players such as current NFL standouts Cameron Wake, Paul Posluszny and Navarro Bowman. While he didn't reach the heights of his former teammates, Sales is using what he learned to help the stars of the future reach for their dreams.
Sales knows the value of having someone to look up to close to you, such as fellow Seneca Valley assistant coach and Steelers all-time sack leader Jason Gildon,
“When I was growing up and playing football in the yard and made a tackle, I got up yelling ‘Jason Gildon,'” Sales said.
“I did that more than once. I watched his whole career, and to get to talk ball with him is a great opportunity.”
Sales' job allows him the freedom to coach at Seneca Valley, and he is glad Holl reached out to him.
“This is good for me, I always wanted to give back and wanted to have the opportunity to get involved,” Sales said.
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.