Big 12 Conference football coaches are partnering with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to join the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge, a campaign that connects youth with caring adult mentors. The Challenge is a collective effort by leading athletic coaches to connect more caring adults and young people through quality mentoring relationships. This year’s Challenge kicks off on August 1 and runs through November 30, with final results released during the first week in December.
In addition to joining the effort, all 10 league coaches are challenging fans to volunteer to mentor youth in their communities. Several coaches have also teamed up with one of MENTOR’s affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and other nonprofit partners.
"Students in elementary, middle and high school represent our next generation of leaders, and mentoring is proven to prepare youth for excellence, effort and achievement," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "The Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge is an opportunity for our programs and their fans to support youth through mentoring."
"By connecting young people with caring adults we provide them with a powerful asset to achieve success in all aspects of their lives," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. "Coaches are mentors both on and off the field and they are uniquely positioned to motivate fans to become mentors. We’re grateful for the commitment of those involved and the energy brought by the Big 12 support and new coaches joining the challenge."
The campaign began as a friendly competition between K-State’s Bill Snyder and Nebraska’s Tom Osborne with the goal of rallying new volunteers for mentoring programs in their communities and states. Through this effort, participating coaches and universities have made meaningful contributions to the communities they call home. Since 2008, college coaches at an increasing number of institutions have demonstrated their commitment to closing the mentoring gap by participating in the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge, impacting young people’s lives, their teams, campuses and communities.
Big 12 Football Coaches Participating in the 2014 Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge
• Art Briles, Baylor University
• Paul Rhoads, Iowa State University with the Iowa Mentoring Partnership
• Charlie Weis, University of Kansas with Kansas Mentors
• Bill Snyder, Kansas State University with Kansas Mentors
• Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma with the Boren Mentoring Initiative, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
• Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University with Boren Mentoring Initiative, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
• Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University
• Charlie Strong, University of Texas
• Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech University
• Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia University with Volunteer West Virginia