Behind the Facemask: Mike Carr Proves Size of Character

Mike Carr hails from Philly and started his football career when he was 13. His parents were torn about allowing him to play the game and after a year of playing with the Wissionming Boys Club, he stopped.

That is until his friend Nick McCarthy, told him about the Semi-Pro team, the IGL Philadelphia Hornets when he was 21 years old. He moved over to the MIFL Hornets in arena league before rejoining the IGL Hornets following their 2012 IGL Championship. He became their starting center.

Mike played center and defensive end for those 3 seasons and feels fortunate to have gotten so far so quickly. Mike faced criticism for being undersized. The last year that he played he was 5’8 and 190 pounds but he didn’t let that stop him. In fact, many of the players he now coaches are surprised that he played center until he shows them film. He was able to use his size to his advantage to the point that the team they lost to in the championship game, the Delaware Buccaneers, wanted him to play for them the next year.


Mike might remind you of another undersized and overlooked player from the movie Rudy. While the movie version of Rudy’s story was a bit overzealous of the actual events that occurred, the fact remains that Rudy did overcome a lot. Mike seeks to be that kind of inspiration for others.

Mike never backs down and never quits. He is passionate that in order to be great, you need to get the words “quit”, “can’t,”  and “won’t” out of your vocabulary. Mike would prepare for games by listening to music such as rock and hip hop. He also would bring out prayer cards that his family gave him to say before each game.

“Mom give me wisdom, Bob give me strength, Ry give me speed, and Pop give me knowledge. I love you and wish you were here.”

Mike has learned a lot from the sport including that if you put the same effort into your daily work as you do for a game, you will go places. It also taught him, “how to be a man and a better father.” His proudest moment however was earning the starting center spot on a great team and having his dad being able to see him play at the Wells Fargo Center.

After playing, Mike decided to coach and was asked to the join the A.S.I. Panthers’ staff and hasn’t looked back on his new path. He started as an Offensive Line Coach in 2014. Then later that same year he became professional co-line coach with Riki Scott as well as the special teams assistant and head coach of a semi pro team.

The commute became a little much to Reading, PA so in the summer of 2015 he helped created the Philadelphia Revolution Semi-Pro team of the IGL. The league folded and he became the offensive coordinator for the Port Richmond Leprechauns kids team. He is currently in the process of creating another semi-pro team in Northwest Philly.


Mike states that, “as a coach I try to motivate my players through personal experiences.” He feels like football saved his life and conveys what he learned in order to help his players. The communication skills he learned as a player have been instrumental in his coaching. He believes in progression and the development of his players and that the game is a tool that translates directly into life.


He has coached a few characters so far and one of his favorite moments was when Ed Williams went up against a guy who unfortunately had no jersey number and called him “Blank Man” which completely took him out of his game. There was also a team joke, likely similar to the video below, where Mike bought a little basketball hoop and would team up with Nick McCarthy to dunk on bigger guys on the team until the coach at the time didn’t think it was as funny.

Mike’s favorite NFL team is the home town Philadelphia Eagles but he also likes the Baltimore Ravens. His favorite player is Seattle Seahawks linebacker, Bobby Wagner.

Mike seeks to be an inspiration to others and wants people to learn from his mistakes and be as a great as you are meant to be. Size of body never equals size of heart or character.


You can follow Mike Carr here:
Facebook: Mike Ryan Carr
Instagram: Carr2247
Twitter: @carr2247

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