High School Janitor Sells Car to Buy Football Team Helmets

janitorYou might not have ever heard of the Jordan High Beetdiggers, but they mean the world to assistant custodian Brad Keene. Ever since he began working at the Utah school in 2003, the former college football player has attended every game, both home and away, and has been one of the team's most ardent supporters. So he didn't consider it a sacrifice in the least when he sold his car and tapped his savings to buy the team desperately needed football helmets. "I wanted to give something back," he said humbly.

It seems that the team has provided an outlet for Keene -- a release. His wife suffers from MS and is in an assisted-living facility. Keene lives with and cares for his elderly mother, who is legally blind. He takes Fridays off during the season so that he can travel with the team to away games. "Football is my passion. It's something I can turn to," he told AOL Jobs. "I love those kids with all my heart."

So when he saw that they needed helmets, he didn't think twice about selling his 2004 Chevy Cavalier to raise the money. And when that didn't quite cover the $6,000 cost of 20 Riddell Revolution helmets in school colors and with team decals, Keene dug into his savings.

Much Needed and Well Worth It

He says that the old helmets were plain maroon, but now they have the Jordan J, the players' numbers, and a tribal stripe. "The team was so excited to see them," Keene recalls with emotion. "They were thrilled."

There wasn't room for a decal picturing their mascot, like the statue of "Beetdigger Dan," who stands out in front of the school, a digging knife in one hand, a beet in the other. "When the school was built in 1907," Keene explains, "there was nothing but beet fields around here. Probably some in this very spot."

Keene has always related to the football team. He says that he played little league football himself when he was young, then played a year at Southern Utah College, which is now a university in Cedar City. "I had some family issues and I had to leave, but I sure wish I would have gone back. That's one of my biggest regrets."

Gaining Gridiron Glory

He's now sharing football dreams with a new generation, and they're helping a few of his dreams come true, as well. He traveled with them last year to Canton, Ohio, for a Varsity Challenge, which the Beetdiggers won. "That's the farthest I've ever been from Salt Lake City," he says. "I sure am grateful I got to go along."

Keene reasons that it's only right for him to give something in return for all the experiences, excitement, camaraderie and love he feels that the team has shown him.

"I just got this feeling I should do something for the team," he said. "I walked into the principal's office, and it was interesting, because the football coach just happened to be there at the time. I asked them if it would be OK if I got the kids new helmets. The principal said, 'That's going to be expensive.' And when I told him I had the money, he said it would be OK, and that he would see that I could get a tax write-off for it."

The tax write-off, of course, is of little consequence to Keene. "I just felt so good about doing it," he said. "The kids mean all the world to me."

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For all those interested in making a donation to Mr. Keene the address for the school:
Jordan High School
95 East Beetdigger Blvd.
Sandy Utah 84070
tel# 801-826-6200
I live in Florida and was so impressed I am sending him a check for his personal use. People like him should be honored for their unselfish deeds.

July 22 2011 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good people will get rewarded. We need more people like Mr. Keene. He might of even saved one or more of these kids from sustaining a head injury. Mr. Keene, I thank you.

July 21 2011 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carol ann


July 21 2011 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sports is a VERY important learning experience for children. It teaches how to be a good winner and good loser...

July 21 2011 at 7:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Mouse......you must be a rat looking to cause more trouble than you can handle especially when you mess with the traps set out for rats. NO WHERE did I read that Brad had a free ride to college!!! As for the rest of yall..........I agree 100%.........where are the car dealerships.....parents that could afford to at least help buy one helmet or helmets????? Mr Keene is truly ONE of GOD's ANGELS!!!!! & I intend to find out exactly how to send him a ck to help him as everyone should do if you can afford to & if you can't your moral support goes a long way too! Thank all yall for understanding the scarifice this man made & as for the ones with the negative attitude...ummmm....I'll just say this.......watch were u step or sniff.....those traps r faster than you think!

July 21 2011 at 7:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

This man knows the value of giving. It has been my experience that if you are a truly selfless giving person you will get back much much more than you give. Mr. Keene knows this and I am sure he is embarest with all the attention. The world is a better place with people like him.

July 21 2011 at 7:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

As a Pee Wee football coach myself,I think this man should be part of the team. Any job will do.

July 21 2011 at 7:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

In response to mouse, with all due respect, the article did not say Mr. Keene went to college on a scholarship. Maybe Mr. Keene took the janitorial job because it gave him the ability to care for his wife and mother. Money was not the driving force behind this man. What Mr. Keene did was selfless. Hopefully, the players and or parents will pay it forward. What a great life lesson for this team.

With all the depressing news so nice to read something positive. Thank you Mr. Keene.

July 21 2011 at 6:37 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

I am going to be against the tide here but I think that one thing everyone has missed is that this very kind gentleman went to college on a football scholarship and is a janitor. Please parents pay attention, your child may be good sports material but the book learning can mean a lifetime of future earning potential. Where were the rest of the school's football parents? Why didn't they do this?

July 21 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to mouse's comment

Brad, I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran. I have been called many things. You Sir are a hero. If everyone in this Country had your attitude, schools would be better funded.
Good people are few and far between these days. I place you pretty close to the top.
Peace, Love, and God's Grace be with you and the football team. I will be rooting for them.

July 21 2011 at 5:43 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

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