Houston Texas Coach Gary Kubiak Speaks at UST Athletics Fundraiser
Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak led the line-up as the keynote speaker at the University of St. Thomas Champions Club Benefit Luncheon on Friday, May 15. The event drew a crowd of more than 150, and raised more than $70,000 to support UST’s intercollegiate athletics program
In attendance were Oliver Luck, President of the Houston Dynamo; J.J. Moses, former punt returner for the Houston Texans; Kenny Burrough, former wider receiver for the Houston Oilers; Jay Guerrero, Regional Director Southeast Texas representing U.S. Senator John Cornyn; UST Board Chair George DeMontrond; UST President Dr. Robert Ivany and Marianne Ivany and UST Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Todd Smith.
The event’s presenting sponsors were Maureen and Greg Evans, Universal Weather & Aviation. Champions Club benefactors include Harry and Cora Sue Mach, the Hackett Family Foundation, the William and Marie Wise Family Foundation, Drew Wilson ’02 Thomson Reuters, St. Pius X High School and Randy Velarde. Lunch was provided by UST alumnus Johnny Marion Carrabba ’80, owner of Piatto Ristorante.
Kubiak’s shared inspirational stories about the hard lessons he learned from his days as a student athlete at Texas A&M. Those lessons, he said, still apply to numerous facets of his life today.
“You are going to go through troubles and tough times in your life, but you have to fight through those tough times,” Kubiak said. “You are going to be told, ‘No,’ many times in your lifetime, but you have to keep believing in yourself,” he said. Just when you feel most defeated and you feel the temptation to quit, Kubiak advised, “You put your helmet back on and go back to work.”
Prior to the luncheon, guests had the opportunity to meet Kubiak as he and Moses and Burrough signed autographs and sports memorabilia including Houston Texans footballs.
Kubiak began his football career at St. Pius X High School, where he was an all-state selection. Kubiak starred as quarterback for Texas A&M from 1979 to 1982, earning all-Southwest Conference honors as a senior. He played for the Broncos from 1983-1991 as the backup to John Elway. Kubiak was introduced as the second head coach in Houston Texans history on Jan. 26, 2006. Kubiak returned to Houston to start his head coaching career after spending 20 years in the Denver area, first as a player and then later as an assistant coach. Kubiak served as Denver’s offensive coordinator, helping guide the Broncos to back-to-back World Championships in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII and three AFC West Division titles. Kubiak is a veteran of six Super Bowls – three as a player and three as a coach–and has coached three World Championship teams.
During the luncheon, UST Alumni Board President Frances Escriva and board members presented a check for $500 to the UST Athletics for the purchase of a new Celts mascot costume. The 2009-2010 UST Celts cheerleading squad also led the crowd in a rousing round of cheers.
The Champions Club seeks to strengthen the University of St. Thomas intercollegiate program by enriching the student athlete experience. Club members provide financial support for the intercollegiate athletics program, encourage student athletes, and promote community awareness about the University. For more information about the Champions Club, visit www.stthom.edu/championsclub.
View a video blog by Houston Chronicle sports reporter Anna Megan Raley.
View a video segment and a news story about of Kubiak’s speech posted by the Houston Texans staff.
Shown at top from left to right: Oliver Luck, Gary Kubiak and George DeMontrond. Shown at center: J.J. Moses and Kenny Burrough sign autographs. Shown above: UST Alumni Board President Frances Escriva and board members present a check for the Celt mascot costume to Todd Smith.