The development of well-rounded young men is a critical element in Texas head coach Charlie Strong’s football program. He not only demands commitment, effort and intensity on the field, but in the classroom, on campus and giving back in the community as well.
Strong requires 10 hours of community service each semester from every member of the football team. Beginning on February 1st, each student-athlete set out to complete five of their required 10 hours volunteering in the community prior to spring break.
“Community service is really important to me,” said Strong. “Our program is going to be active in the community and helping others. We told the guys from day one that we will require that they spend at least 10 hours a semester helping in community outreach programs. We want them all to appreciate how fortunate they are and how important it is to help others and to represent this program and our University in a positive manner. I think they all understand that and have really responded well.”
Prior to spring break, the team completed nearly 600 hours of service. The activities included elementary school visits, a neighborhood clean-up effort through the campus organization “The Project,” spending time with patients at Dell Children’s Medical Center and children and families at the Ronald McDonald House.
About 65 members of the team participated in UT’s Texas Thon held on campus at Gregory Gymnasium. Volunteering anywhere from five to 10 hours for an effort tabbed “For The Kids,” the student-run event raised more than $50,000 for Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Defensive tackle Malcom Brown was one of those team members and was glad he and his teammates had the opportunity to meet the people associated with it and help give back.
“Really, like for what I did, it was just getting out and having fun with little kids,” Brown said. “It’s even more fun than we were thinking it would be. When we saw the chance to do this one, we knew we wanted to do it, and when we got there, everybody was having fun, we met new people, and we were just able to give back.
“They always say the eyes of Texas are upon you, and the way people look up to us and little kids look up to us, and how much that affects them, it means a lot and we want to be there for them.”