DFI President Lynn Cain believes that there has never been a greater cry for the development of young men.
"DFI is defining developmental football as a means of defining men," says Cain, who starred collegiately at University of Southern California, where he helped the Trojans win a national championship in 1979.
"Real football, real champions, real men. We have an opportunity here with DFI to demonstrate to the NFL a model of significance, one that works both outside on the player, and inside the man."
The former Atlanta Falcons great recalls his hands-on experience during his coaching career, when he took East Los Angeles College from worst to first.
"The real battle must be fought and won in our communities," Cain says. "In our homes, in our relationships. We must be committed to
teaching and impacting the lives of young athletes as they evolve to be responsible fathers, husbands, and mold the framework of our communities. It's an honor to lead DFI in this very real crusade of faith, family and football."
"Lynn embodies integrity, humility, kindness and moral courage," says DFI Commissioner Joel Williams. "He is a patient teacher and coach. Our staffs, and athletes, will benefit immediately from the inner strength and wisdom of this prayer warrior. Coach Cain is a leader of men."
At USC, late assistant coach John Jackson helped convert Cain from tailback to fullback, where he rushed for 914 yards behind Heisman winner Charles White.
"He changed my life," says Cain. "He taught me to become a complete back. How to block, not just run. How to be selfless allowed me to play seven years in the NFL. Self must die, for a team player to rise."
Cain's responsibilities at DFI include overseeing a league-wide staff of 'virtual coaches' who can provide such pivotal instruction to developing prospects. DFI enjoys state-of-the-art technology from partner GoMobile Solutions that delivers an array of 'face-time' and mobile app coaching platforms.
The popular Cain, named to the "Top 50 All-Time Falcons" team, played for Atlanta from 1979-84, and with the Los Angeles Rams in 1985. He shared his college backfield with Heisman Trophy winner Charles White.
Cain coached five years at East Los Angeles College, his junior college alma mater, where he restored a winning tradition and community pride. When the Huskies won a division championship in 2011, it had been 37 years since East Los Angeles had won a title - when Cain was the MVP, on the same field, at Weingart Stadium.
"The pivotal point in my life was understanding the responsibility for the people who follow you," Cain said. He frequently cites a verse from a poem shared by UCLA basketball legend John Wooden, on the building of men.
"A Careful Man I Want To Be
... a little fellow follows me.
"I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.
"I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
"Like me he says he’s going to be —
that little chap who follows me…
"He knows that I am big and fine —
And believes in every word of mine.
"The base in me he must see —
that little chap who follows me…"
The uncle of Black Eyed Peas rapper/singer/producer, will.i.am, Cain is married to bride Lisa Gordon Cain, a humanitarian. They have three children together - son Lynell Cain and daughters Desiree Jacobs and Ariyan Gant.
The couple also have four grandchildren - Damon and Raven Cain, and David and Dawson Jacobs.