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Words of Wisdom from Texas Longhorn Coaches

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

“You get what you earn, and you gotta pay full price.”

This was the priceless message from Coach Vic Schaefer at the first of his Texas Women's Basketball 2023 Luncheon Series held last Thursday, January 5th.

Over one hundred Longhorn faithful packed into the Touchdown Club for the special event, housed inside Daryll K. Royal Memorial Stadium (DKR) on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.

Coach Schaefer, the third-year head coach of the Texas women's basketball team, addressed the burnt orange crowd with the afore-mentioned common sense statement that only a Texan could put into those exact words.

I must admit of being in dire need of hearing Coach Vic's inspirational message, as I have experienced the New Year’s Blues.

Health insurance woes, getting back to a post-holiday routine, and uncertainty about the future have all tried my patience recently.

Yet when I stepped on campus at my alma mater and into the Touchdown Club full of smiling alumni, student-athletes, coaches and staff, I was instantly invigorated and inspired.

This year's inaugural luncheon featured inspiring and informative messages from prestigious guest speakers, specifically select coaches of Longhorn’s sports teams and members of its women’s basketball team.

First, Associate Head Coach/Technical Coordinator Erik Sullivan of the National Championship-winning UT Volleyball team addressed the luncheon crowd.

Coach Sullivan spoke about the importance of culture in the modern era of the transfer portal.

In a bid to create a winning team culture this season, the eventual national champions conducted a team-building event where they rowed in boats together down a river, emphasizing the need to all row in the same direction as they face adversity.

Coach Sullivan also relayed further information about the exciting new UT Beach Volleyball team, comprised of players from the current UT Volleyball team who will play spring matches in Hawaii and Long Beach as well as against TCU in just a few months.

For more information on The University of Texas' beach volleyball team, click here.

Coach Schaefer then introduced head football Coach Steve Sarkisian to an adoring crowd.

Sark's wide-ranging 15-minute speech focused on social media, mental health and the NIL (name, image, likeness).

When asked about the impact of social media on college athletes, Coach Sarkisian spoke about his time as quarterback at BYU, especially after their legendary win at the Cotton Bowl in 1997.

Sark said that after the game, he would watch the nighttime highlights on ESPN and read the newspaper the next day to gauge his performance. And that was it. On to the next thing.

There was no direct way for an individual to pass along feedback (either positive or negative) to an athlete; therefore, no distractions for the student-athlete.

Nowadays, anyone with a phone can post, comment or DM their damaging invective via social media, and it is in our human nature to want to check out comments about ourselves.

This innate curiosity is inevitable, acknowledges Coach Sarkisian.

In an attempt to preserve the mental health of his young student-athletes as best he can, Sark advises his players to avoid both the high and low emotions generated by social media.

Great advice, but probably easier said than done.

I was pleased to hear the coach's take, as I have authored multiple articles addressing Instagram and my mental health on my blog here.

Regarding the NIL, Coach Sarkisian relayed a quote from his former boss, coach Nick Saban of The University of Alabama.

Coach Saban’s wisdom was “Adapt or Die,” and since Sark believes the NIL is here to stay, Steve Sarkisian must adapt.

In fact, given UT’s valuable brand, Coach Sarkisian feels that the insurmountable advantages the Longhorn Nation brings to the table should be an asset in a NIL-influenced future.

If you are interested in RSVPing for one of Coach Schaefer’s future luncheons, check out the article here on the site for more information.


After the two-hour lunch, I toured the Frank Denius Family University of Texas Athletics Hall of Fame, which is located inside DKR next to Gate 16.

Admission is free, and hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

I walked wide-eyed through a plethora of team and individual trophies from all of the collegiate sports played at The University of Texas at Austin.

The sheer amount of the trophies is jaw-dropping, including the prestigious Directors' Cups, an annual award given to the university with the most success in overall collegiate athletics.

For more information on visiting the Frank Denius Family University of Texas Athletics Hall of Fame, click here:

Note to Readers: If you are interested in reading more of my articles about University of Texas Longhorn sporting events, please check out my review of the Nelly and Flo-Rida concerts at Longhorn City Limits here.


Finally, I just recorded one of my all-time favorite 90’s tracks, Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike.”

Temple of the Dog was comprised of members of both Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, two of my all-time favorite bands, and "Hunger Strike" is my favorite song.

As an adolescent, I was honored to have front row seats to see both Pearl Jam and Soundgarden at Lollapalooza '92, an unparalleled experience I wrote about here.

You can find the song on my Soundcloud here.

If you like the song, please follow my SoundCloud account. I am hoping to get a gig at South by Southwest music festival in March, and your advocacy would be very beneficial.

Thank you so much.

Have a great rest of your week and be inspired!

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