39 years ago Randy Grimes was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing Center for the Bucs during one of the darkest times in the teams history. Randy Experienced more coaching changes then wins.
“It Started in 1983, I remember getting that phone call from coach John McKay, Randy recalls, hey Randy we just drafted you in the second, I’ll see you tomorrow, click.”
The Baylor grad went on to anchor the center position for the Bucs for nine years during an era when Tampa Bay never won more than 6 games in a season.
For the past 15 years the former pro has been working with addicts, using his past addiction that started while playing pro football.
“There was no indication of what lied ahead for me, Randy says, there was nothing coming up, my parents were the greatest role models never saw them touch a drop of alcohol, my brother and sister same way, great role models, my wife , I married a preachers daughter”.
The grind of his position and the game would start to take its toll on Randy’s body sending him down a dark path that would eventually lead to an addiction to opiods.
“In the eight and a half, nine years that this was going on, not once did anybody ever come and say Randy why are you slurring your words or Randy why are you nodding off in meetings”, recalls the former Bucs Center.
The last two years of Grimes career, the addiction got so bad, the Bucs center was playing games in complete blackouts.
When his career ended in 1992, his addiction was raging out of control and for the next 17 years he would lose everything.
Randy would lose everything, houses, cars, money, jobs, his life had completely hit rock bottom.
In 2009 Randy would get the help he needed and eventually start his own company called Athletes in Recovery working with NFL players past and present battling addictions and that was just the start.
“I never dreamed it would be so successful, says randy, that major league baseball got involved and the hockey and the NBA, pretty much any sport you can think of that has an organization that supports their former players”.
Randy’s message began to get out thru speaking engagements and eventually a book he wrote called Off Center. Three years ago, Randy took his Program to The White Sands Alcohol and Drug rehab facility in Plant City.
Now the former Bucs Center not only works with Pro Athletes but people of all ages, sharing his addiction and using that to help others.
“This is my destiny, obviously god was preparing me all those years to do what I do now and be able to share my story and I’m not going to waste this opportunity.”