With Seattle for 12 seasons [1980-91] as a defensive end, you’re a two-time Pro Bowler, and the team’s all-time career leader with 116 sacks. What makes you most proud of your Seahawks career?
“I think more than anything else is just being able to play in the league and be successful, and trying to be a great teammate. I think there’s a lot of things that you take for granted when you’re playing and then when it’s all over you look back at the people that you’ve met and the success that you had as a football team and as an individual. Those are some of the things that I cherish the most and being a part of the Seahawk organization, which just fully supported me throughout my entire career.”
You’re one of only 10 that the Seahawks have inducted into their Ring of Honor, which means that your name is prominently displayed inside of their stadium. What does that recognition mean to you?
“Being in the Ring of Honor is certainly something that will never come down. Your family and your friends get a chance to see any time they walk into that stadium that your name’s up there. That’s certainly a high honor to be in there. It’s pretty powerful.”
What led you to return to your alma mater, Texas A&M, and become the V.P. of Major Gifts and Endowments for the university’s 12th Man Foundation?
“I’ve always wanted to see Texas A&M progress. It’s always been a national power in academics and sports. And for me to come back and raise money, be a fundraiser, and work with our athletics and especially our football team and our head football coach, Coach [Kevin] Sumlin, it’s an honor and a treat.
“Texas A&M is where it all started for me. It got me my education. And there’s a tremendous amount of our donors and Aggies that support what I do.”
What makes you good at what you do?
“Being a good fundraiser is listening. Listening and supporting your donors and being there for them when they call. We cater to them and try to help them as much as you possibly can.”
What is the money that’s raised used for?
“It’s used for our scholarships for our student-athletes. We also use it for facilities, for instance our new Kyle Field campaign. We raise money for anything dealing with sports facilities and scholarships.”
The Kyle Field campaign that you mentioned is huge. The stadium is in an ongoing redevelopment which will have the total cost of $450 million. Do you approach a substantial project like this differently?
“Yeah, it took some thought. We built some incredible suites. We have 12 Founders Suites, which we sold [at the cost of] $5 million and above. So that kicked the campaign off. And these luxury suites are as fine as there are in any stadium. Period.”
What’s it going to mean to the Texas A&M community once the stadium renovation is completed?
“First of all, it will be a huge, huge win for us as far as stadium-wise. We’ll have the finest stadium in the country, the finest facilities in the country. We’ll be alone at the top as far as being a university itself. It’s going to do so much for the community and it’s going to bring revenues for [the city of] College Station.”
What do you enjoy about your job?
“Coming in every day and seeing people and getting a chance to meet with people that knew me or knew of me. I have the chance to see these people and visit with them on campus. Being around our student athletes is probably the most intriguing thing because I get a chance to watch them grow. And I get a chance to be a part of all our athletics.”
You are also involved in raising money for charities such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. How important is it for you to give back?
“It’s very important to me to give back. That was something that… I lost my father to cancer in 1984 and that’s been a big part of what I’ve wanted to do as far as giving back to charities.”