The year is 1959 in Waco, Texas. A seven-year-old boy approaches a massive stadium to watch his first ever college football game. Walking to his seat, he absorbs a breathtaking scene. The crowd hollers. The band blares their age-old rendition of “That Good Old Baylor Line”. For the first time in his life, the boy gazes out as the Baylor Football team takes the field. Looking up to his dad, he smiles with excitement and tugs his dad’s shirt.
“I’m going to play football for the Bears one day,” he promises his father.
And so he did.
A native of Amarillo,Texas, Steve Swinney knew from that day on that he would be a Bear. His father was in the Air Force, stationed at Waco’s James Connally Base during the 1959 Baylor football season. While Steve’s family would go on tomove to Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, and even Germany, the young man never could get the image of those green jerseys out of his head.
He attended Randolph AFB High School in San Antonio, Texas where he excelled at football. He was eventually offered a scholarship by Baylor, which he accepted immediately. Steve was on his way to fulfilling the promise he made his father.
“When I got here, it was a pretty tough time for Baylor Athletics,” Steve recalled. Arriving in Waco in 1970, he entered into a football program that was limping. The Bears were coming off of a winless season in which they scored only 87 points through ten games. These struggles would continue until 1972, when Baylor hired a new football coach: Grant Garland Teaff.
“It was a great experience,” Steve said of playing under Coach Teaff, who would go on to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The two became close during their time at Baylor, as Teaff was able to mentor the young man on and off of the field.
After four years of school and football, Steve graduated from Baylor to enter the business world. He worked in insurance, living in Oregon before bouncing back to San Antonio and finally settling in Dallas. In 2015, he decided to retire from the insurance business and take on a new challenge, becoming Director of Marketing at The Video Biography Company.
The Video Biography Company creates personal documentary style videos for those who want to preserve their life stories. Steve was hooked on the idea, and immediately thought back to his time as a Baylor Bear.
“One of the first things that I wanted to do was get the life stories of iconic Baylor coaches,” he said. The ambitious undertaking was rooted in his love for Baylor athletics and deep connections to his time in Waco.
It didn’t take long for Steve to orchestrate the creation of videos for legendary Baylor coaches Bill Menefee, Dutch Schroeder, and of course, Grant Teaff. Drawing from interviews with the coaches themselves, as well as their former players, the company created personal video biographies for each of the three icons.
“There is just an incredible consistency to these men,” he said of the trio of Menefee, Schroeder, and Teaff. “They are not only great coaches… They were there to develop men. The wins were a byproduct of having good people, growing them up, teaching them, and coaching them.”
“The influence that they’ve had on the players, students, and alumni…” he paused. “…It’s immeasurable”.
When asked about his current relationship with Coach Teaff, Swinney smiled. “Coach Teaff and I have been friends for a very long time.” He still looks back on his days as a Bear as some of the formative experiences of his entire life. “This truly has been a labor of love for me as I love each of these men, and I’m so appreciative of the influence they’ve had on me.”
Steve hopes to soon work with Baylor’s visionary track coach Clyde Hart, who mentored multiple Olympic gold medalists, the most famous being 400-meter champions Michael Johnson and Sanya Richards. Hart currently still serves Baylor as the Director of Track and Field.
For Steve Swinney, legacy isn’t just important— it’s essential. Legacy is what prompted Steve to join The Video Biography Company in 2015. It’s what brought him to Waco 45 years earlier. Legacy is the same force that caused a small boy to promise his dad he would be a Bear in 1959, and then pushed him to fulfill that promise.
Legacy is how our lives are remembered, and Steve Swinney’s is proudly tinted Green and Gold.