GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – One lifelong Packers fan turned a dream into a reality under the lights of historic City Stadium.
Levi Nelson has always been a die hard Packers fan. Bleeding the green and gold was something that became the normal for Nelson as he continued to get older. Instead of vacationing to Florida for Spring Break, he would make it a point to travel to Green Bay.
“Some people want to retire in Florida. I always said, ‘If I could raise a family in Green Bay, that’s what I wanted to do'”, said Nelson.
That became reality when Nelson was named the Head Football Coach at Green Bay East High School in 2020.
The city that Nelson used to visit during his free time as a child became home to him and his family as they made the move from Ohio to Titletown last year.
Even cooler? Green Bay East is where the Packers played from 1925 to 1956. Levi now coaches at ‘City Stadium’, the same stadium Curly Lambeau did.
“My first game – I’m getting ready to coach, we’re doing the National Anthem, and I’m standing there when the PA comes on. ‘Welcome to historic City Stadium. Former home of the Green Bay Packers’. I got goosebumps on top of goosebumps”, Nelson said.
Nelson has the opportunity to call plays under the same lights where the Packers won six of their thirteen championships.
“I don’t know if I understand the history, right? Like as much as I am a Packers fan and as much as I try to teach it and embrace it – I don’t think I can wrap my mind around the fact that Don Hudson was scoring touchdowns here”, Nelson explains.
It’s something Nelson displays every day he comes into work.
A passion for the Packers, a passion for his job, and a passion for teaching kids the tradition that lives right at their school.
Nelson worked at Walt Disney for two years and during his short tenure there, he explained how tradition was something they emphasized early on. So, he felt it was important to teach kids at Green Bay East why their school is so significant in Green Bay history.
“The first two days of work there (Walt Disney), you don’t actually work. You attend a class called ‘Traditions’ where you learn about the rich tradition of Walt Disney World and the man himself and what made that. You felt a part of it”, Nelson told Local 5. “We actually have a class here called ‘Traditions’ that our freshman go through every summer where we just learn that Curly Lambeau played here, 87 Pro Football Hall of Famers played at City Stadium, and that’s a tradition we definitely like to hang our hat on because that’s not where I went to high school. I’ll tell ya that much.”
Teaching the kids about the rich traditions at City Stadium and Green Bay East has become a priority, but he also wants kids to lead in the community that he grew up wanting to reside in. Being a coach is something Nelson doesn’t take lightly and cherishes every moment of his teaching and coaching career in Titletown.
“As a coach and as a teacher, I get to work with parent’s most prized possessions. That’s their son. That’s their daughter. So, it’s a job I don’t take lightly”, said Nelson.
As Nelson finishes up his second season of being the head coach at Green Bay East, he’s building culture at the same stadium that’s a vital part in Green Bay’s history.
It’s a dream he couldn’t have imagined, but it’s a dream that he gets to live out every day.