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The Aquilian

Gonzaga’s Unsung Hero: Mr. Justin Young

Mr. Justin Young has a diverse set of responsibilities at Gonzaga. Photo by Ethan Merkle / Photo II

Dawning a  uniform consisting of work boots, black Dickie pants and a black Gonzaga hoodie, Mr. Justin Young embodies his Twitter handle—WORK. Mr. Young puts in many hours at Gonzaga, but he is relatively unknown to many students here. 

“Are you talking about the tall guy with dreads who lifts stuff?” asks junior Harry Washington.  

Many students do not know how important Mr. Young is to Gonzaga.  From fixing problems in Cleary Hall to making sure the football team’s defense is prepared for Good Counsel’s rushing attack, Mr. Young’s schedule is not for the weak. 

Coach Young was a standout high school defensive lineman at Northwestern and committed to playing football at Virginia Tech University and later Morgan State. While at Morgan State, Coach Young earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration, which would fit well with the Gonzaga strength & conditioning program. Coach Young found Gonzaga through his former high school coach at Northwestern, Randy Trivers, head football coach and English teacher. 

“Coach T called me and asked if I wanted to join the staff, which  I did, and  a couple of years later, I was offered a job in facilities, and here we stand,” Mr. Young said.

Mr. Young gets to Gonzaga at around 5 a.m. each day.  Mr. Young works until 3 p.m. moving tables, helping staff and doing average maintenance stuff.  Mr. Young then puts on his coaching hat and transitions into Coach Work.  He leads the strength workout and then leads as defensive coordinator for the Eagles.  

“If there is no football, I get out around four o’clock, but during WORK season I get out at 10 to 11 o’clock,” Mr. Young said.

Coach Young leads the players on the team to not just be successful athletes but to be successful young men.  

“Coach Young really has been a role model for me since I got to Gonzaga. He’s at every single workout for the football team, and he’s here every day at school working. He’s always setting the example for us,” said Darius Wise, junior.

Mr.Young ends his prolonged day with his newborn son and wife.  

“Fatherhood and marriage are tall tasks, but it’s what being a man is— handling your business at home and at WORK. It’s definitely a tall task, but I lean on God for everything that I do, and he gives me the strength to handle business,” Mr. Young said.

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    Carol CorganMar 15, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Ajani–Wonderful article on Mr. Young. He is always positive, always greets you with, “How are you?” Yes, a very hard worker. A great role model.
    Mrs. Corgan