The idea of coaching first came to him while driving past red rocks and cacti. Demario Warren was a running back for UC Davis and had just finished a game against Southern Utah University; on the drive back to California, his coach said, “I think you’re going to be a great coach one day, Warren, so if there’s ever an opportunity, I want you to take it.”
Warren has spent the last eight years at SUU with his wife Amanda and their three energetic children. In January, Warren took the helm of SUU football after his successor, mentor and friend, Ed Lamb, vacated the position December 2015.
Growing up in Vacaville, Calif., Warren learned early about hard work and sacrifice from his mother.
“My mom had me at the young age of 15,” explained Warren. “Growing up, she would work 12 to 15 hours a day to ensure that I was taken care of. It was definitely a learning experience to see how hard somebody would work to provide for their family.”
Warren’s mother always dreamed for him to attend college and constantly supplied encouragement and support. Under her caring guidance, Warren played a wide array of sports. From football to basketball to baseball basically “anything with a ball”, sports always had a strong impact on his life.
Warren excelled in football and received a scholarship to UC Davis and played running back for three years before injuries halted his career during his senior season. He earned a bachelor’s degree in African American studies from UC Davis and during his last year at school was offered a position at SUU as the running back coach for the football team.
During his first year coaching, Warren decided to continue his education and received a master’s of business administration from the University of Phoenix. His wife Amanda also pursued her dreams of earning a college degree and recently graduated from SUU with a bachelor’s in accounting and was hired as an accountant for the Leavitt Group.
Cedar City has become their home, and although Warren spends a lot of time coaching and recruiting, he describes himself as a homebody and values time spent with Amanda and their three children: Demario Jr. (11), Jazelle (6) and Daylee (2).
“I like to play racquetball and basketball,” said Warren, “but more than anything I enjoy time with my family.”
The 11 years of parenting skills Warren has accumulated, he says, go hand-in-hand with coaching football. The attributes that he instills in his players are the same he strives to promote with his children.
“At SUU, we recruit players with high character, leadership and discipline,” stated Warren. “Those are the same characteristics that I want my children to have. Amanda and I preach caring about other people and serving those around you.”
Warren is excited to begin his tenure as the head football coach, something he believes Ed Lamb helped prepare him to do. Based on his players reaction, they’re excited too.
“To see our players enthusiasm was a special moment, one that I’ll never forget. It just showed me that they appreciated the work I put in and they are excited about me being the head coach. I can’t wait to get back on the field,” Warren said.