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After nomadic life in football, Trestman has achieved destination job

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:47 p.m. CST

(MCT) CHICAGO — Jerry Trestman never finished that basement inside the suburban Minneapolis home he once shared with his wife and two children.

His son, Marc, was a multisport athlete primarily involved in football, baseball and basketball. Yet often, the younger Trestman invited a couple of friends over and transformed the basement into a full-fledged puck battle.

"There were too many holes in the walls from all the hockey games," Jerry Trestman said.

"I also had a table tennis thing down in that basement. We used to play that, too. But Marc, he's not little at all. His reach was too big."

Marc Trestman never stopped reaching. Now he's at the pinnacle of his profession. The 14th head coach in Bears history didn't climb to the summit overnight. He put forth the time. He made the sacrifices.

Trestman eagerly volunteered to coach at the University of Miami 32 years ago while attending law school there and now has fulfilled a dream that he shares with his wife and two daughters. "I thought Marc should have been an NFL head coach years ago," Jerry Trestman said. "That's where he wanted to be ... eventually."

Marc credited his parents for instilling in him the values of hard work and dedication. Jerry Trestman, a musician who never played sports or attended college, owned and operated a musical instrument store for 45 years. He had other side businesses that were "nothing illegal" he joked, including a restaurant where Marc once worked.

"I used to leave at 8 in the morning and never got home until about 2 the next morning," Jerry Trestman said. "My daughter, Cari, she's 13 months younger than Marc, and I think she knows him better than me because she spent more time with him. My wife (Sharon), she's the one who went to every game. She was the one who drove him all over."

But Marc Trestman was the one who was driven.

"He left the house when he was 17. All the decisions between now and then have been his," Jerry Trestman said. "Like with law school, that was his decision. I tried not to influence him, although I'm a great admirer of education.

"I recall him making the decision that maybe he didn't have the physical ability to keep playing quarterback. As you know, it's a sport that very much involves the quarterback being hit. And Marc had some back problems. But still, I was not involved in any of his decisions."

Jerry Trestman couldn't remember all the details of his son's athletic career save for his stint at the University of Minnesota as a backup quarterback to Tony Dungy, and his son's cameos as a defensive back at Vikings training camp.

Marc Trestman was a three-sport start at St. Louis Park (Minn.) High School who played three years with his hometown Gophers. Then he transferred to Minnesota State-Moorhead, where he replaced current MSNBC talk-show host Ed Schultz as the starting quarterback.

Jerry Trestman, however, vividly remembers his son's rooting interest. Fran Tarkenton was an idol. "He always was a Vikings fan," the father said. "Yes, we were all Vikings fans. "But not anymore."

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