How blessed I am to have entertained people on Sundays and Mondays wearing the Chiefs jersey,” Danan shares. “But it
goes beyond that as it created a platform for me for the next part of my life, being able to serve others.” Danan does this in numerous ways: being heavily involved in his family’s church, the Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri; by providing fiscal seminars for NFL rookies; coaching youth athletic teams; and being a Chiefs Ambassador. It is being a member of this hand-selected, charitable organization that brings him and other former Chiefs players — such as Deron Cherry, Keith Cash, Chris Penn and Jayice Pearson — to this year’s HK’s benefit tournament.
“It’s a great, great tournament that’s at a ‘Top Shelf ’ resort,” Danan says. “We really appreciate the Brown family including the
Ambassadors as part of it. All the people involved treat us so well. We have a fun time!” Danan shares that his only extra-curricular activities are playing golf and jogging.
He doesn’t have time for much else, as he is busy serving others via his jobs of banking, broadcasting and, most especially, his family. Danan met his sweetheart Tifanni when he was home from college on Christmas break, and they married in 1995. They have five children, ages 18-32: Jessicah, Joey, Taurin, Savvy and Talyn, as well as three grandchildren: Darrien, Daryn and Daxton. They like to spend quality time together and travel. Combining their two favorite activities, they go to as many of their
children’s athletic games as possible. “We have the ‘Truman Trifecta’ right now,” he explains. “Currently at Truman State University we have our son Taurin, who just finished basketball his senior year, our daughter Savvy just finished playing volleyball, and our daughter Talyn is a senior in high school who just finished her volleyball schedule and in the fall will continue playing volleyball at Truman.”
Just as their children played high school and college sports, so did Danan in his youth. He was born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, playing sports year-round. He enjoyed basketball and football, but baseball was his favorite. “All my family including my parents were athletic. They wanted us to stay active and not just sit around.” He didn’t sit around when University of Iowa Football Coach Hayden Fry came to his childhood New Jersey home wearing cowboy boots. “It was the first time I’d ever seen them!” Danan adds, with a laugh. Fry offered him a scholarship to play football and baseball. “It was a culture shock coming from
living close to New York City,” he admits. “But it was the best decision I made to go there. I established great relationships and am still friends with Coach Fry and Baseball Coach Banks.”
While playing both sports during his college years, he received his degree in Broadcast and Communications. “My college years were great!” he says. “It was fantastic to play both sports and be a Hawkeye!”
Hughes played all four seasons at Iowa, starting in all games but one. He racked up records of 2,216 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. He was an All-Big Ten member in baseball and football multiple years. He helped lead the team to the Rose Bowl in 1991 and the Holiday Bowl in 1992. It’s also worth noting that it was during his regular 1991 season when he received
a touchdown pass resulting in Danan’s “snow angel” celebration in the end zone. His act is still fondly remembered by many as giving Coach Fry his 100th victory.
On the baseball diamond, Hughes was a standout outfielder and was drafted in the third round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. There, he played two seasons with the Brewers’ Minor League team in Helena, Montana, alongside the future New York Met Bobby Jones.
The next year, he was chosen as a seventh-round selection by the Chiefs in the 1993 NFL Draft. When he joined them that year as number 83, the Chiefs’ roster had four future Hall of Famers — Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Will Shields and Derrick Brooks. After Danan’s rookie year, the team members chose him as their captain, a post he held for the next three years. He helped
lead them to six playoff games, played 85 games with career stats receiving 46 passes totaling 425 yards and four touchdowns.
One of his memorable life successes was choosing to step off the field. “I give all credit to God as He has provided for all,” Danan affirms. “I was very fortunate to have made a smooth transition from playing professional sports to the next chapter of my life. My wife and I prayed together about it. Then I called my agent and told him thanks for everything as I was ready
to leave the game.”
He may have left the game, but the game didn’t leave him, as he then utilized his skills and training provided by his college degree. Danan now is a sports commentator as an NFL On-Air TV Analyst (KC Chiefs), a TV Analyst for the Big 10 Network
(College Baseball and Football), 610 Sports Radio (KC), Spectrum Sports Channel, and ESPN3 (College Football and Basketball).
“I’ve stayed with all three sports for over 15 years,” he says. “It’s definitely a blessing.”
One area in which he enjoyed leading others was when he was involved in seminars for all NFL draft picks, from the No. 1 to the
“Mr. Irrelevant.” He helped coach them on monetary matters. “These young, 20- to 22-year-old kids quickly come into six-digit money within a couple of days,” he says. “I’d help explain how to handle it, who to trust, the value of good credit, interest rates and especially mortgages.” Currently, Danan is a sales manager for U.S. Bank in the mortgage industry in the Kansas City area.
Danan points out that his life is an open book. He hasn’t been faced with many huge life obstacles, just everyday pitfalls — and he
wants people to learn from them. “My life is not just a diary for me to read,” he declares. “I try to be as transparent as possible. I try to live my life as an example to others. My life goal is to continue to be a strong believer in the Bible. We’re called to plant and water seeds for generations. I believe in ‘iron sharpening iron.’ ”
With that same theme, Danan is extremely thankful for the Chiefs Ambassadors. He says, “Lamar Hunt and Carl Peterson were
big believers in being strongly committed to the community. The Ambassadors grew out of that caring foundation. It gives back to
the community in dollars, in scholarships, with in-person events and much more. It also allows us, former players, to keep one foot in the locker room,” he explains. “We can help mentor the current players plus have camaraderie. We don’t have to give up all of our Chiefs experience. We have the best of both worlds.”
Danan has now, fortunately, experienced 25-plus years of being a part of the Chiefs and its kingdom. He reflects, “I’m still close
to my extended family, my respected coaches, Fry, Banks and Schottenheimer. We have an amazing group of guys as Chiefs
Ambassadors, even some who played as Dallas Texans. I’ve been surrounded by invaluable Hall of Famer after Hall of Famer. I’ve
been blessed to be able to have a professional career with the awesome, class act of the Chiefs that I love. Now I get to do exactly
what I studied in college, plus help others all the while with my blessed family by my side. I wouldn’t change a thing.” •