Longhorn Foundation Donor Spotlight: Tom and Theresa Richey
April 26, 2012
Longhorn Foundation donors Tom and Theresa Richey occasionally refer to themselves as some of the "most recognizable nobodies" on Longhorn game days.
They have been featured in magazines such as The Alcalde and even saw air-time on ESPN.
"Our daughter was watching the College World Series up in Chicago and all of a sudden we popped up on the big screen and she was like, 'Oh my gosh, there's mom and dad!'" Tom Richey said.
Sporting their trademark Larry Mahan palm straw cowboy hats, with a baritone and piccolo in tow, the former Longhorn Band members travel to UT Football and Baseball games around the country greeting the team buses and revving up UT fans with renditions of "March Grandioso," "Texas Fight" and "The Eyes of Texas" .
The tradition started back in 2000 at a football game in Lawrence, KS.
"You would be amazed at how much work it is," Tom Richey said. "We practice a lot, because you can't miss a note when there are only two people playing. And we really have to stay in shape. Every home football game, we get there early and meet the team bus, then we walk over to play inside Bass Concert Hall, then we walk back to the car to put the instruments away, then we walk back to the game and walk back to the car after the game. That's like two miles!"
The Richeys spent the last three decades in Omaha, NE, where they comprised the Nebraska Chapter of the Longhorn Alumni Band and were, at one time, the only Texas Football and Baseball season ticket holders in the entire state.
"Everybody in Nebraska loves 'Husker Football," Theresa Richey said. "They were okay with us being Texas alums, but they just couldn't understand how after 30 years in Nebraska, we weren't Cornhusker fans."
Omahans never had to look past the Richey's driveway to know they were Longhorn fans. Each of their vehicles was adorned with personalized UT inspired license plates, and they topped off a restored 1977 Pontiac Catalina with a coat of Mandarin Orange metallic paint.
"You know, Nebraska fans have been bitter toward Texas ever since we beat them in that 1996 Big 12 Championship Game," Tom Richey said, "but even they could admit that was a beautiful car."
Their ties to Nebraska made the Longhorns' victory in their final Big 12 game against the Cornhuskers in 2010 extra sweet for the Richeys, but the couple agreed their favorite celebrations are after Texas defeats archrival Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl.
"We always head over to the food court after we beat OU, and it is just absolutely packed with Texas fans," Tom Richey said. "They are already excited about winning, but then we start playing "Texas Fight" and it gets so loud in there that your ears start ringing. It gives me goosebumps every time."
Recently retired and living in Seguin, TX, the couple plans to attend UT games and play their instruments for as long as they can.
"It's become our job to just have fun," Theresa Richey said.
"Everyone over at The Longhorn Foundation is so customer-oriented and really take care of people, and DeLoss Dodds will help you anyway he can," he said. "Over the years we've gotten to know Craig Way and the radio guys, and even some of the player parents and the people in the football office and they help to let us know where the buses are going to be and stuff."
"And when we play over at Bass Concert Hall before the games the Cheer and Pom girls coordinate with us to do their routines for everyone," he said, "and all of the Texas fans clapping and singing along while we play is just so much fun. It's all just like being wrapped up in a big 'ol blanket of love."