Great Futures Luncheon: Coach Sark lit the spark for Great Futures!

Jun 18, 2021 | Club Updates

2021 Great Futures Luncheon brings together a community for Great Futures  On Thursday, June 17th, ardent donors, community leaders, and some of our exemplary Club youth gathered to learn more about BGCAA’s mission and celebrate Great Futures. With Coach Steve Sarkisian as keynote speaker and Roger Wallace and Jeremy Hills as emcees of the event, the 2021 Great Futures Luncheon brought together a community of supporters for an inspiring afternoon at the Fairmont Austin. Coach  Sarkisian shared with the attentive crowd of over 300 attendees the lessons learned on the field, his plans for the future as UT Head Football Coach, and even his favorite ice cream flavor during a Q&A led by our amazing Club members.

Check out the photo gallery HERE. 

Read the full story written by Brian Davis for the Hookem below! Photo credit: Aaron Martinez/American-Statesman Read the story: Texas Coach Sarkisian opens about his vision, recruiting, ice cream at fundraiser luncheon:

Texas coach Sarkisian opens about his vision, recruiting, ice cream at fundraiser luncheon

Brian Davis Hookem
Published 5:21 pm CT Jun. 17, 2021

Kids should get the microphone more often. Most times they ask better questions anyway, especially the inquisitive ones involved with the Austin-area Boys and Girls Clubs.
In a packed ballroom on the seventh floor of the Fairmont Hotel, with about 300 adults looking on Thursday, Steve Sarkisian couldn’t escape
“What is your favorite ice cream?” one girl asked the Texas football coach.
“This is tough for me, because I feel like I’m going to leave some flavors out,” Sarkisian said. “But if I were to choose one, I would probably choose cookies and cream.”

His other answers Thursday were far more revealing once the lunchtime prattling and cutlery rattling reached a standstill.
If coaching didn’t work out, what was your backup career? In a curious way, Sarkisian’s answer shed light on his unshakeable belief that Texas can once again become a football powerhouse.

“I’m going to admit to this group here,” Sarkisian began. “I was in sales before I became a football coach, and this was in the dot-com boom era. Part of why I figured I would be a decent football coach, I was selling things that didn’t even exist. I was selling vapor. I was selling for a dot-com that didn’t exist and I was kicking ass. It was amazing.”

The gasps when coaches are giving real talk never cease to amaze.

“At that point, I felt if I can sell something that doesn’t exist, surely I can sell a football program and a great university,” he added. “That’s what I probably would have done if I didn’t want to be a coach.”

And finally, from a high schooler, Sarkisian was asked what he’d tell his 15-year-old self. His message would resonate with a 15-year-old Sark as much as it would with today’s Longhorns.

“Looking back on it, I would remind myself to be brave,” Sarkisian said. “When I was young, and even now I have to remind myself, that I’m cautious at times. Sometimes I think, well, maybe that’s not meant for me. Or, somebody else is better at that than me. I don’t want to go do that.”

University of Texas at Austin football coach, Steve Sarkisian. Aaron E. Martinez/ American-Statesman 

Once spring practice resumed, it was mostly all systems go as the players finished out the semester. Then on May 6, linebacker Jake Ehlinger was found dead. Austin police still have not released a cause of death, and a spokeswoman said the toxicology report has not been completed.

Still, through it all, Sarkisian likes what he sees. “The way we’re coming together,” he said, “I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”

The Longhorns are planning to move into the totally renovated Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center on Aug. 2. Sarkisian also told those in attendance that “I’ve got to believe it’s going to be louder in DKR now” with the enclosed south end zone.

Control what you can control. That’s what coaches always say, right? So Sarkisian is doing just that.

His sole focus this month is recruiting, since the NCAA opened things back up on June 1 and allowed on-campus visits. Sarkisian said his staff is hosting 45 recruits on official visits this month, another 200-250 unofficial visitors and hosting 10 camps. On official visits, UT is allowed to pay for a recruit’s travel and meals; the parents or athlete must pay for everything on an unofficial visit.

“We had 16 months with no on-campus recruiting getting slammed into 27 days,” Sarkisian told a small group of reporters before the luncheon.

The 2022 recruiting class currently has 11 commitments, and the group ranks seventh nationally, according to 247Sports. Five-star running back Rueben Owens, part of the 2023 class, announced Thursday he was decommitting from UT, though.