It took a village of football coaches to lead Chevas Clements on the path to success including becoming a coach, educator and entrepreneur. His drive and encouragement from mentors led to him receiving a doctorate and successfully running three businesses.
“Not knowing my father growing up, the mentoring by my high school football coach Don Drinkhan at South Dade High School led me to the fountain of success,” said Clements, who is the father of four sons ages 15 to 25.
All four are already successes in their own right with one winning a Bright Futures scholarship, another in the Naval Academy, one an honor student in high school, and the other a successful musician in California. Chevas followed in his mentor’s footsteps becoming Miami-Dade County’s high school coach. He is an honoree of Legacy’s Top Black Educator of 2021.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Pedagogy, Physical Education from California State University, a Master of Education in Athletic Administration and Coaching, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration, and a doctorate in Organizational Management with an Emphasis in Special Education, both from Grand Canyon University. He completed his graduate work online while working at his current job as a physical education teacher and coach at Homestead Middle School.
“I ended up at Homestead Middle School because my son’s football coach was the principal there at the time and encouraged me to come to the school so I could have more flexibility to focus on my master’s degree,” Clements said.
His coaching career is as impressive as his academic career. He was the running back coach and offensive coordinator at South Dade High School, offensive coordinator, as well as head boys and girls, track coach at Killian High School, the head coach for the Miami-Dade in the GMAC tournament going 5-0 and beating Broward County each year and ultimately, head football coach at Coral Reef Senior High School, eventually making it to the third round of the playoffs.
“The third round was as far as the football team at Coral Reef had ever gone in the playoffs so that was a huge accomplishment,” he said. “Also, over 65 of the players received college scholarships during my time as head coach. I knew I had to be more than a football coach to the players.”
Clements also finds time to run various entrepreneurial ventures including his businesses Head Hunterz Barber Shop and Crisp & Clean Carwash. Because he owns a building with five spaces, he is able to also run his food truck, Simple Mobile Phone, Western Union, and U-Haul services. Through his businesses, he has provided free haircuts to the community and participated in various Farm Share food drives. His goal is to always give back.
“I have multiple avenues of income from one establishment. I can say I was growing laterally and not vertically. This way I was able to build it like a football team,” he said.
Achieving this level of success did however come with its set of challenges like overcoming issues of systemic racism in his career.
“I saw the discrepancy not only with me but in the system in general, and situations I’ve had to deal with,” he said. Because of this, he plans to someday run for a seat on the Miami-Dade School Board.