March 4, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Longhorns head coach Mack Brown will be taking part in the Second Annual Coaches Tour presented by Under Armour, traveling to military bases throughout Middle East to visit U.S. troops. Four other coaches have committed to join Brown on the trip that is set to run from May 28 through June 4. The coaches will visit bases in Afghanistan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
The group, which includes head coaches Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Rick Neuheisel (UCLA), Houston Nutt (Mississippi) and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, will be heading to the Persian Gulf on a USAF KC-135 refueling tanker and is expected to visit more than 12,000 troops and travel 20,000 flight miles.
"When they asked me to be a part of the group that's going to visit our troops this spring I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of," Brown said. "We have such a great country and a safe country because of the young men and women overseas fighting for our freedom and for the war against terrorists. With the tremendous military influence in this state and the fact that it touches so many families on our team, I thought if there were anything I could do to help them, I should.
"There are so many young people fighting for our freedom, I thought it was a great opportunity to represent our University and football program in thanking them. It's a chance for us to show our soldiers that we care about their safety and wellbeing and to let them know how much we appreciate what they do for us. Regardless of where you stand on war, I think it's the least I can do to go support our troops, their hard work and dedication and all they put into making our country safe. For me to spend a little over a week over there is not much when you consider the commitment the soldiers make every day to protect us and our freedoms."
Last year's tour was a first-of-its-kind for NCAA football and for Armed Forces Entertainment. The coaches will again participate in meet and greets at various bases, as well as coach flag football teams made up of servicemen and women. The head coaches also will host a symposium, allowing audience members to ask questions.
"We are very pleased to have Coach Brown agree to participate in the Coaches Tour 2009," said Col. Ed Shock USAF, Chief of Armed Forces Entertainment. "We know that he will be an inspiration to the thousands of our servicemen and women that he will meet over the visit to the Persian Gulf region. We also congratulate Coach Brown on receiving the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, and on behalf of Armed Forces Entertainment, we thank him for his support of our dedicated folks proudly wearing the uniform of our country."
Morale Entertainment is organizing the tour in association with Armed Forces Entertainment. Armed Forces Entertainment is the lead Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, with priority given to those in contingency operations and at remote and isolated locations. The Department of the Air Force is the executive agent of Armed Forces Entertainment. Founded in 1951, Armed Forces Entertainment brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops annually, embracing the best of Americana that stretches across all genres of entertainment. Visit www.armedforcesentertainment.com for more information.