Super Bowl Champion Ryan Harris Gives Keynote Address to Launch George Karl Student-Athlete Leadership Series

Two prominent members of the Denver sports community visited Kent Denver School’s campus this week to teach students about the values of leadership in sport and in life. 

Monday afternoon, students filled Anschutz Theatre for the first session of the George Karl Student-Athlete Leadership Series. Karl, one of the winningest basketball coaches in NBA history and a parent at Kent Denver, is putting together an exciting lineup of fantastic speakers for students during the 2021-22 academic year. The first speaker of the series was 10-year NFL veteran Ryan Harris, a former offensive lineman and Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos. 

Harris encouraged kids to chase their dreams by choosing a winning mindset. He said it starts with repeating the following personal statements: I am. I can. I will.

“When you believe in yourself you are choosing to, even in failure, find gratitude,” said Harris. “When you choose your mindset, you will never be stopped on your way to greatness, and people will be wrong about you all the time.”

The George Karl Student-Athlete Leadership Series has been specifically developed to educate, inform and inspire Upper School student-athletes to lead through sportsmanship. Karl, who coached the Denver Nuggets from 2005–13 and overcame cancer, will serve as the emcee before kicking off to each session’s keynote speaker. 

 On Monday, Karl encouraged those in the audience to find their passion. 

 “Along with your passion, find a purpose,” Karl said. “A purpose to live a positive, energized life. That’s what life is about.” 

When Harris came on stage, he shared the important lessons he learned from both the successes and failures in his professional career. He closed his presentation with a motivational message for how they can make a positive impact at Kent Denver and beyond. 

“Create your dreams by speaking the words I am,” Harris said. “Find your resolve. Even if you don’t believe it, speak the truth that will come from the work you create. 

“When your good is not good enough, speak the words I can. Find the open door, or find the closed door that you need to kick open. When you’ve identified who you are and you have your willingness, take action with the words I will. In that way, not only will you be successful, but those who you love, or those on your team, will be successful as well. And in that way, you will change the world.”


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