Venom Indoor Football
God, Family, Football is More Than Just A Saying For The
Pint-Sized Venom Owner...It’s A Way of Life!
It all started with a fence on a farm. Stephanie Tucker, the owner of the Venom Indoor Football team, was born and raised in nearby Groom, Texas. Stephanie was raised on a farm and at the age of 16, decided to show off for her dad by plowing the fields and ended up taking down a mile of fencing on his immaculate farm. When her dad came to see her handy work, he promptly “fired” her and told her she would never be a farmer or a farmer’s wife. Fortunately Stephanie received a called from the Office Manager for the Amarillo Dillas Baseball team asking if she would be interested in working the ticket booth for the summer. The General Manager invited her to come see a game and from there she got to see how a well ran sports organization could create a fun and entertaining family event. Stephanie fell in love and started acting as the “man in the stands” and the “lady on the field” to entertain the crowd for two summers.
The Dillas Office Manager headed to North Carolina to work for the Durham Dragons softball team. Stephanie followed and her job was to help get the girls ready for not only the PR but everything for the Olympics for two seasons. With four seasons of sports team PR experience, Stephanie knew that was the path she wanted to take so she headed to Texas Tech to get a dual degree in Management & Marketing. At Tech, she worked as the Raider Recruiter for football and baseball to recruit new athletes and make them and their families feel welcome.
Stephanie was born and raised Catholic and a friend at Tech asked her to sponsor her during her wedding preparation by going to classes and supporting her through the process. Stephanie attended a church retreat and a girl at the retreat told her, “Stephanie, I met your future husband.” When Stephanie found out this “future husband” was a coach she said “no” because she was ready to move to a big city. Needless to say, Stephanie and Toby have been married almost 17 years.
Stephanie and Toby got married as soon as she graduated from Tech and moved to south Grand Prairie outside of Dallas where Toby was a football coach. Soon after, Toby was offered a head coaching job in Stephanie’s hometown of Groom so they moved back home. They then moved to Wheeler where he was a coach and then to Childress where he became the Principal and Assistant Superintendent. By this time they had two small children Kaitlyn and Caden. Stephanie’s only entertainment outside of raising her children was going to the gym and working out. When they moved to Childress, there was not a gym in sight, so they decided to open one called F3 Fun Family Fitness in 2006. From Childress, they moved to Claude where Toby became their Superintendent. In 2008, Stephanie opened at second F3 Fitness in Dumas.
On April 24, 2011, a date that sticks in Stephanie’s mind because it forever changed their lives, the Tucker family decided to come to Amarillo for a Venom (previously the Dusters) Football game. At that time, the now three Tucker children were 7, 5 and 3. They got seated on the sidelines, the kids all had their hot dogs and by the end of the first quarter the kids were bored and ready to leave. It was a rare night outside of their regular events and commitments and they thought “we could have had a steak dinner for this price!” Stephanie looked at Toby and said “I could do this, I could really do this!”. Toby knew it was her dream and he made a call to a sport’s broker and let him know they were looking for a team within a 90 mile radius of Stephanie’s hometown of Groom. Within minutes, Amarillo called and said the Venom was available and they wanted to meet with Stephanie.
Even with three children and two gyms to run, Stephanie took a meeting with the Randy Sanders, the owner of the Venom. The bank laughed when they tried to finance a struggling football team so Randy offered to let them make payments to him. Beyond the fact that they had a busy family life and crazy work schedules, the Tuckers just felt that God was clearing a path for them, so by August 2011 it became a done deal and Stephanie became the new owner and General Manager for the Venom Indoor Football team.
In terms of marketing, Stephanie hit the streets and created new partnerships and fun opportunities with Amarillo area businesses to have sponsors and community involvement during the games. On the football end, they were blessed to have Coach Julian Reese who had played for the Dusters and brought the first Championship here to Amarillo continue on as the Head Coach for the Venom. Stephanie’s philosophy on running the actual team is to create a successful path for Coach Reese to run the players as he sees fit. Their partnership seems to be working well as Stephanie works to put people in the stands and Coach Reese took the Venom to the Playoffs every year and brought home the Championship in 2012 and 2013. The year after taking over the Venom, Stephanie, Randy Sanders and a couple of other people created a new Texas football league.
When you meet Stephanie Tucker, you don’t see the “owner of a football team”, you see a pint-size lady with a genuine personality and a bubbly sense of humor. It is her 20 years experience and love of sports marketing that has brought the Venom to be a fun family favorite here in Amarillo. It is also her love of her community that can be seen with her partnerships of local businesses and her generosity in giving back to the Amarillo community. And when asked what her favorite thing about owning a football team is, she replied, “the players”. Every Monday night the entire team heads to the Tucker’s house to watch the game film. The players are an extension of their family and they know they will be taken care of.
The Venom Indoor Football is an eight-man team played on a 50-yard field that was created to entertain football addicts during the off season. The new Venom season starts right after the Super Bowl with their first game at the Amarillo Civic Center on March 17, 2018 at the end of Spring Break. You can go to their website at www.govenom.com for more information and a 2018 schedule. So get ready for a new season of football and family fun...FANGS UP!