Devin Jordan is the founder of Beyond The Game and has a passion of enriching the lives of young people and giving back to the community. As a former student athlete and current college football coach for Youngstown State University with over 10 years of college football coaching experience, he understand that a kid’s first experience with sports is vital to whether they continue on with them. Devin states that “It’s imperative to teach our youth that there is MORE to gain from sports than just playing the game. This is the purpose of Beyond The Game.”
Devin was a highly recruited football prospect coming out of Massillon Washington high school and was blessed to receive a full ride scholarship to play at THE Ohio State University. He had dreams and the talent to make it to the NFL. One day, however, that dream was cut short due to injury. Because Devin had a strong foundation of academics, he was still able to finish his college career with a degree in Human Ecology. After college, Devin worked for big-name companies, such as Nationwide Insurance and Chase Bank, before eventually getting the opportunity to pursue his passion: coaching college football and working with the youth! He is also one of the exclusive speakers for the THE Ohio State University Alumni Club! Devin has a strong desire to help kids achieve a high level of education, just like he did, by helping them understand that education is essential to success in life. With Beyond The Game, Devin wants to teach kids that at some point, being able to play sports will end, so it’s crucial to have the resources and a plan to move on to the next phase in their life.
Guys With Ties Leader
Kent Hamilton is a Physical Education Teacher in the Plain Local Schools in Canton, Ohio. Kent is the true definition of a talented, hard-working individual who has used his own high moral values to make a positive impact on the community and the students he works with each day. He is a driven young professional that inspires everyone he works with on a daily basis. He also goes above and beyond to reach all students that he works with. In 2016, Kent created the Guys with Ties program in the Plain Local Schools with the help of Community Liasion Michi Thomas. Founded in his desire to support and nurture the “whole child”, the Guys with Ties program teaches young boys life lessons on hard work, character, manners, and civic duty. The program at his school has been featured on news outlets all across the United States. Kent’s philosophy of teaching Physical Education is to provide a safe, positive learning environment that promotes physical, mental, and social well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for Physical Education drives his program. Kent has received several awards and presented at county, state, and national educational conferences. He was named the 2018 Plain Local Schools “Teacher of the Year”. He received the Cleveland Cavaliers “Walmart Community Playmaker” award for his service to the community. He was recognized as the 2019 Ohio Physical Education “Young Professional of the Year”. He also received the “Healthy Schools Award” at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy School Forum in Little Rock, Arkansas. His moral values were also recognized as he was named a “Person of Character” by the Plain Local Schools. Kent grew up in Marion, Ohio where he was a three sport athlete at Ridgedale High School (Basketball, Golf, and Track). He attended Kent State University and settled in Canton, Ohio with his wife Ashley, who is also a teacher. He has a son (Hudson) and daughter (Hadley) and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and attending sporting events. He is excited to be a part of the Beyond the Game team!
Michele (Michi) Thomas
Guys With Ties Liaison
Michele (Michi) Thomas is a mother, wife, friend, and Community Liaison at Middlebranch Elementary, one of six elementary schools in the Plain Local Schools District. Michi connects students with resources to fulfill their physiological needs to better enhance their learning. Michi grew up in South Amherst, Ohio, where she attended and graduated from Open Door Christian School. Michi pursued a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, where she met her husband Kevin, and in 2000 they put down roots in North Canton, Ohio. Together they have three children, Kaleb (24), Kensington (22), and Kyle (19). Michi has history in sales, clerical work, and offers ample interpersonal skills to any situation. Michi loves to travel, read, cook, and she is very active in her Church community. Michi has a passion for helping others and is always looking for new ways to connect her students with new resources. In 2016 Michi along with Physical Education teacher Kent Hamilton saw a need in their school to help further educate their students beyond the classroom. They established Guys with Ties, a program to ensure a development of a well-rounded student. Guys with Ties looks to educate elementary aged boys on hard work, manners, and character. This program has become nationally known and has expanded into all Plain Local Elementary schools as well as throughout Ohio. Michi is elated to be a part of the Beyond the Game Team and excited to see where Guys with Ties will be headed in the future.
Helping Young Athletes Go Beyond
One of our main missions at Beyond The Game is to inspire student-athletes to become more than an athlete , so we have created a high school student internship that will be help us with our digital design, marketing and social media! These internships allows for growth in professional areas that they are passionate about. It also provides another avenue for them to serve their community.