CARLSBAD, Calif. — It has been more than a decade since John Carney suited up and played in an NFL game, but his passion for the sport continues to this day.

“It’s been exciting, it’s been tough at times, everything that’s worthwhile there’s going to be some struggle and trials that you’ll have to push through and learn from,” said longtime NFL kicker and Carlsbad resident John Carney, “I feel very blessed to have this career.”

Ten of Carney’s 23 NFL seasons were spent in San Diego playing for the Chargers, now in retirement grooming the next generation of kickers out of the Carney Training facility in Carlsbad.

“I’m just as excited about this career as a coach and mentor,” continued Carney, “to see my clients reach a new level, kick a game-winning field goal, huge punt that flips the game around, it’s very exciting for us.”

Now the Notre Dame alum honored by a chapter of his alma mater with the Knute Rockne Spirit of sports champion award given for a lifetime of philanthropy.

“I’m very honored,” continued Carney, “I was surprised, the people that were there, there were another seven awards given out – they were all amazing people that accomplished amazing things in their lives, and to be in that group was very special.”

For more on Carney’s journey and training, click on the video above.