Joe Burrow comes from a football family with his dad Jimmy Burrow having his own pro career followed by being a longtime college football coach. Joe’s mom Robin Burrow is the principal of Eastern Elementary School and is also part of the board for the Appalachian Children’s Coalition, an advocacy group for kids in the area.
Heading into the Super Bowl, Jimmy revealed that Joe had the potential to make it to the NBA thanks to his shooting ability, but the quarterback’s decision to focus on football seems to have turned out okay.
“He was a great 3-point shooter,” Jimmy told NBC Sports’ Peter King for a February 6 feature. “It wouldn’t be a shock to me today if he picked basketball that he’d be an off-guard in the NBA shooting threes. You saw at LSU that after he hadn’t picked up a basketball for two years how well he can shoot.”
Jimmy Had a Brief Career With the Packers
After a standout college career at Nebraska, Jimmy was drafted by the Packers in the eighth round of the 1976 NFL draft. Jimmy played in three games for the Packers before transitioning to a successful career in the CFL that included a championship.
After his playing career concluded, Jimmy began a long college football coaching journey. Jimmy retired in 2019 after spending 14 years as Ohio University’s defensive coordinator. The longtime coach cited his son’s senior season at LSU as a key factor in his decision to retire in 2019.
“I didn’t want to miss Joe’s senior year,” Jimmy explained to The Daily Advertiser during an August 2019 interview. “My wife Robin traveled to every game last season, and I went to only three. I didn’t want to not be involved with my wife traveling to every game. All my family’s been telling me how great a game is in Baton Rouge. And Joe’s a part of that. And they’re having such a great time with the tailgating and just being a part of LSU football. I didn’t want to miss that.”
Joe’s Mom Robin Admitted That Making the Super Bowl Was a ‘Stretch’ When the Season Started
It is challenging for Joe’s parents to be surprised by their son’s success given they have witnessed all he has already accomplished. Yet, Robin admitted that the Bengals reaching the Super Bowl this year is a bit of a surprise.
“I will have to say that I thought it was probably a stretch to get here this first year (laughter),” Robin told The Columbus Dispatch on February 4. “But at the same time we’re unbelievably excited — once they started hitting their stride and getting momentum I was feeling pretty good.”
Joe’s Dad on Bengals QB: ‘We Tried to Raise Him With Respect, Discipline & Caring About Others’
Joe has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, but his parents continue to see the same humility they tried to instill in him long before he was the face of a franchise. Jimmy noted that the couple tried to emphasize “respect, discipline and caring about others” as the family’s key core values.
“We tried to raise him with respect, discipline and caring about others,” Jimmy remarked to NBC Sports. “Respect your teammate, respect your opponents. After the national championship game at LSU, I saw him walk off the field with the ball. I figured it’d be great for him to have it, either to keep it or maybe someday sell it. So I asked him about the ball. He said, ‘I gave it to Ja’Marr. Dad, he had like 200 yards receiving. He deserved it.’ “