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Press Release

KANSAS STATE AND LSU ACCEPT BIDS TO PLAY IN TAXACT TEXAS BOWL

HOUSTON – Kansas State and LSU have accepted bids to play in the 2021 TaxAct Texas Bowl, the bowl organizing committee announced today. The 2021 TaxAct Texas Bowl will be played at 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at NRG Stadium in Houston. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with a local radio broadcast available on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM). Tickets and suites are now available for purchase www.taxacttexasbowl.com.

“We are excited to announce the 2021 TaxAct Texas Bowl between the Kansas State Wildcats and LSU Tigers, two excellent institutions from the Big 12 and SEC,” remarked David Fletcher, executive director, TaxAct Texas Bowl. “The Bowl is one of the largest annual events in our community and we’re excited to welcome Kansas State and LSU to Houston. We look forward to hosting these teams and their fan bases for a festive bowl week of Texas-themed events that will culminate in a primetime showdown at NRG Stadium on January 4.”

Kansas State will represent the Big 12 Conference, while LSU will represent the SEC. The two programs have met just once before, when LSU earned a 21-0 victory over Kansas State on September 13, 1980. The 2021 TaxAct Texas Bowl will mark Kansas State’s third appearance and first since 2016, when the Wildcats earned a 33-28 win over Texas A&M. LSU will make its second appearance in the TaxAct Texas Bowl and first since 2015, when the Tigers beat Texas Tech, 56-27. 

The 2021 edition of the TaxAct Texas Bowl will mark the event’s eighth year of affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. The game was most recently played in 2019, when the Texas A&M Aggies emerged with a narrow 24-21 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, with quarterback Kellen Mond receiving MVP honors.

Entering its 16th year, the TaxAct Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since 2016, the TaxAct Texas Bowl has the fifth-highest attendance among all college football bowls, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange bowls. The TaxAct Texas Bowl and its sister event, the Texas Kickoff, have combined to create an economic impact of close to $80 million annually for the city of Houston while raising over $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support for DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston’s oldest children’s charity and the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

For more information about the game and affiliated Bowl Week activities, fans can visit www.taxacttexasbowl.com or follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

About TaxAct
TaxAct is a savvy, tax-filing solution that provides filers with affordable DIY tax software to successfully navigate the U.S. tax code. As a pioneer in the industry, TaxAct’s products enable all users – regardless of profession, tax bracket or complexity of their return – to quickly and accurately file their taxes all while discovering new ways to leverage their tax situation and improve their financial well-being. At TaxAct, taxes are our expertise, but we don’t see them as the end goal. Rather, we believe taxes are a stepping-stone to possibility. Possibilities that are unique as every filer. Possibilities that help each hardworking American not only claim the money they deserve but also enable them to make smart money decisions. We deliver the power of possibility through straightforward technology to help filers secure their best tax outcome and elevate their financial lives.

To learn more about TaxAct, a business of Blucora, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOR), visit www.taxact.com or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For more information on Blucora, visit www.blucora.com.

About ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the TaxAct Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.

Press Release

2021 TEXAS BOWL SET TO KICKOFF IN PRIMETIME IN JANUARY

The Big 12-SEC showdown at NRG Stadium will start at 8:00 p.m. CT on ESPN

HOUSTON – The 2021 Texas Bowl, featuring teams from the Big 12 and SEC, will kick off in primetime on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. CT. The 15th edition of the game will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston and will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio, with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM).

The Texas Bowl is a top-five most attended bowl game in the country and the most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange Bowls. The Texas Bowl and its sister event, the Texas Kickoff, have grown to become two of the most popular annual college football games in the country, combining to create an economic impact of close to $80 million annually for the city of Houston while raising over $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston’s oldest children’s charity and the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary. 

In 2019, the Texas Bowl featured the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies, marking the sixth year of the Bowl’s affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. With an Aggies 24-21 victory over the Cowboys, then Texas A&M and current Minnesota Vikings QB Kellen Mond was named the 2019 Texas Bowl MVP.  Last year’s Texas Bowl was scheduled to feature TCU and Arkansas but was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.  

Ticket information for the event will be shared in the near future.  To be the first to get these updates and for more information around the game, fans can sign up for the Texas Bowl Waitlist at http://www.thetexasbowl.com/.  

About the Texas Bowl 
The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Texas Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the fifth most-attended bowl in the country since 2016.

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

-LONE STAR SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT-

 

Press Release

Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Class of 2021 Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 19

HOUSTON – The Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2021 class of Gridiron Legends inductees, the committee announced today. The honorees will be introduced at the 2021 Texas Kickoff game on Sept. 4 and will be inducted into the Gridiron Legends at a special pregame ceremony during the Texas Bowl game at NRG Stadium on Jan. 4.

The class of 2021 features Lubbock, Texas native and Baylor standout Dennis Gentry, 17-time Texas state champion high school coach Keith Kilgore, Seven-time Pro Bowl and nine-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler, Baylor All-American and eight-time NFL All-Pro Mike Singletary, the winningest coach in Texas A&M history R.C. Slocum, five-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro cornerback Emmitt Thomas, Beaumont native and three-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jerry Ball, University of Houston alumna and 2011 PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year Wade Phillips, Texas High School Hall of Fame and Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame inductee Steve Worster, University of Texas All-American and 2006 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Vince Young, and the patriarch of 7-on-7 football and co-creator of the Bayou Bowl Dick Olin.

Dennis Gentry
Dennis Gentry is a Lubbock, Texas native who went on to garner 2,230 rushing yards, 382 receiving yards and 309 kick return yards as a multi-position athlete for the Baylor Bears from 1977 to 1981. As a junior in 1980, along with fellow Class of 2021 Gridiron Legend Mike Singletary, Gentry notched 1,003 total yards from scrimmage as a major contributor to the backfield that blazed the way to Baylor’s first 10-win season in program history and its sixth conference title. After appearing in 45 games for the Baylor Bears in four seasons, Gentry was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL Draft. He spent the entirety of his 11-year NFL career with the Bears and was a part of the 1985 Bears squad that went on to trounce the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX (46-10) and earned the reputation as one of the most dominant football teams of all time. Gentry finished his NFL career with 171 receptions for 2,076 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 764 yards and five touchdowns. However, his most notable role on the team was as a kick returner. He ranks second in career kick return yards for the Bears behind Devin Hester with 4,353 yards and is tied for the team’s all-time total kick returns with 192. In 1986, Gentry led the NFL with a 28.8-yards-per-return average. After retiring from football as a player, Gentry later served as the running backs coach for the XFL’s Chicago Enforcers in 2001 before the league closed operations. In their lone season, the Enforcers bounced back from an 0-4 start to win five of their last six regular season games and fell to the Los Angeles Xtreme in the semifinals of the XFL playoffs.

Keith Kilgore
Keith Kilgore is a native of Houston and a graduate of Waltrip High School. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Abilene Christian University. Kilgore began his teaching and coaching career at Bellaire High School and, after serving his country in the U.S. Army, he returned to coach at Houston Lee High School and then at Hastings High School in Alief, Texas. He entered athletic administration as an assistant director in Alief and then moved to Fort Bend ISD (FBISD) as the director of athletics in 1992, where he spent the remaining 21 years of his career. Under his leadership in FBISD, there were 17 state championships and three national championships crowned along with numerous titles in various individual sports. Kilgore has been honored by the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association as a “Distinguished Service Award” recipient, inducted into the Texas High School Athletic Directors Hall of Honor, the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Honor and named the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association’s Award of Merit. He has served on the board of directors of the Touchdown Club of Houston for 27 years and was president of the organization from 2016-2017. Kilgore has chaired the prestigious High School Awards Dinner since joining the board of directors for the Touchdown Club of Houston. He and his wife Sherry have been married for 47 years. They have two sons (Kerry and Kory) and 2 grandsons (Grant and Rhett).

Shane Lechler
Seven-time Pro Bowl and nine-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler hails from East Bernard, Texas, and began his athletic career at East Bernard High School where he was a standout in football, basketball, baseball and golf. On the gridiron, Lechler played quarterback, punter and placekicker as he led East Bernard to the state quarterfinals his senior year. He finished his season having completed 87 of 101 (86.1%) of his passes and threw for 1,640 yards and 11 touchdowns. Throughout high school he averaged 41.6 yards per punt with a long of 85 yards. Lechler went on to play football for Texas A&M and proved himself to be a versatile athlete, earning snaps at punter, placekicker, holder for short field goals and PATs, and was the emergency quarterback. Due to his contributions in many different facets of the game, Aggie Head Coach R.C. Slocum called Lechler “the team’s most valuable player.” Lechler earned Freshman All-America honors in 1996 with a punting average of 42.7 yards and broke the Aggie single-season record for average yards per punt with 47.0 as a sophomore. He holds the NCAA record for career punt average with 44.7 yards per punt. Lechler finished his career at Texas A&M with three first-team All-Big 12 selections and an iconic NFL future still ahead of him. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, where he played for 13 seasons and set various NFL and Raiders records. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was named an All-Pro in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. During his time with the Raiders, he was a three-time NFL punting yards leader (2003, 2008 and 2009) and he is the owner of the NFL record for best career gross punting average (47.6). Lechler also has the five best single-season punting averages in Raiders history, including a career-best 51.1 in 2009, which is the second-highest single season average in NFL history. He had at least one punt of 50 yards or more in 33 consecutive games from Week 13 of 2003 through Week 14 of 2005, the longest streak since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970. Lechler appeared in 158 regular season contests for the Raiders and seven playoff games, including Super Bowl XXXVII. On March 13, 2013, Lechler signed a three-year deal with the Houston Texans, where he finished his career after five seasons. In 2013, Lechler recorded 88 punts for 4,189 yards for a 47.6 average, and in Week 10 he became just the sixth player in NFL history to reach the 50,000 punting yards mark. He maintained excellent punting yard averages throughout the rest of his career and once again led the league in punting yards with 4,507 in 2017. Lechler retired in the spring of 2019 after sitting out the 2018 season as a free agent. In December 2019, Lechler became the first Texans player to be named to the NFL 100 All-Time team. He is married to the former Erin Gibson, who was an All-American volleyball player at Texas A&M.

Mike Singletary
Mike Singletary was born as the youngest of 10 children in his family in Houston. He attended Evan E. Worthing High School where he established himself as a dominant force on the gridiron. In ninth grade, Singletary was an all-state guard and linebacker and went on to earn a football scholarship to play at Baylor University. As a linebacker for the Baylor Bears, Singletary earned All-America honors in his junior (1979) and senior (1980) seasons, when he averaged 15 tackles per game and set a team record with 232 tackles in 1978, including 35 in a game against the Houston Cougars. During his senior year in 1980, along with fellow Class of 2021 Gridiron Legend Dennis Gentry, Baylor won 10 games for the first time in school history. Singletary was the only college junior to be selected to the All-Southwest Conference Team of the 1970s. He is a two-time recipient of the Davey O’Brien Memorial Trophy, which at the time was given to the most outstanding player in the southwestern United States before it became the quarterback-centric award that it is today. Singletary notched 97 tackles as a freshman, 232 (a school record) as a sophomore, 188 as a junior and 145 as a senior. His total of 662 tackles set a program record for most career tackles. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors three times and All-America honors twice. Singletary went on to be a second-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears in the 1981 NFL Draft, the 38th player selected overall. He stepped into his role as a starter in the Bears lineup in the seventh game of his rookie season. In his third game as a starter, Singletary recorded a memorable defensive performance with 10 tackles and a forced fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs. A near unanimous all-rookie selection, he went on to start 172 games for the Bears during his 12-year career, the second-most in club history. Singletary finished each of his last 11 seasons as the Bears’ first- or second-leading tackler. He finished his career with 1,488 career tackles, including 885 solo tackles, seven interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries. Selected to play in a team record 10 Pro Bowls, Singletary was All-Pro eight times and All-NFC every year from 1983 until 1991. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, Singletary was the cornerstone of the Bears’ innovative 46-defense. In 1985, he led a Bears’ defense that was ranked first in the league and allowed fewer than 11 points per game. The team went 15-1 and dominated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The Bears held the Patriots to a record low seven rushing yards, and Singletary contributed with two fumble recoveries. In 2003, Singletary began his coaching career as the linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Following the 2004 season, the San Francisco 49ers hired Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to be their head coach, and Singletary left the Ravens to serve under Nolan as the 49ers’ assistant head coach and linebackers coach. He became the interim head coach of the 49ers after Nolan was fired in October 2008. After a 2-5 start, Singletary was able to lead the team to finish the season 5-4 under his leadership for a final record of 7-9. In December 2008, Singletary earned the long-term head coaching position and signed a four-year contract. After a strong 3-1 start to the 2009 season, the Singletary-led 49ers failed to reach the playoffs but finished with an 8-8 record, the team’s first non-losing season since 2002. The 2009 49ers produced five Pro Bowlers under Singletary’s leadership. After a disappointing 2010 campaign, the 49ers parted ways with Coach Singletary. He landed on his feet the following season after agreeing to join the Minnesota Vikings as the linebackers coach/assistant to the head coach. After being out of the league for two years, Singletary returned to the league as an advisor for the Los Angeles Rams’ defense. Since then, Singletary has had brief stints as head coach of the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express and Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas. Singletary and his wife, Kim, have seven children.

R.C. Slocum
R.C. Slocum was born and raised in Orange, Texas, and graduated from West Orange-Stark High School in 1963. He attended McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., where he earned a B.S. in physical education in 1967 and his M.S. in educational administration in 1968. He also played tight end for McNeese State’s football team for three seasons. Slocum began his coaching career as a football coach at Lake Charles High School in 1968. In 1970, he became a graduate assistant at Kansas State University under head coach Vance Gibson, also coaching the offensive linemen on the freshman team. In 1971, he was named head freshman coach. In 1972, Slocum was hired as receivers coach under Emory Bellard at Texas A&M. A year later he became the defensive ends coach, and in 1976, he became the linebackers coach. After a coaching change in 1978, he was named the new defensive coordinator for Texas A&M in 1979. Slocum left to serve as the defensive coordinator for the University of Southern California under John Robinson in 1981. He returned to Texas A&M in 1982 as defensive coordinator under Jackie Sherrill. In 1985, Slocum was elevated to assistant head coach. At last, in December 1988, Slocum replaced Sherrill to earn his first role as a long-term head coach. During his 14 years as head coach, he led the Aggies to a record of 123-47-2, making him the winningest coach in program history. Slocum never had a losing season and won four conference championships, including the Big 12 title in 1998 and two Big 12 South division crowns in 1997 and 1998. He reached 100 wins faster than any other active head coach and has the best winning percentage in Southwest Conference (SWC) history. Under his tenure, Slocum helped make Texas A&M’s Kyle Field one of the hardest places to play in the nation, losing just 12 home games in 14 years. Texas A&M owned the longest active home winning streak in the nation for much of 1994 and 1995. The Aggies lost just four times at Kyle Field throughout the 1990s. Slocum earned SWC Coach of the Year honors three times during his time as head coach. His “Wrecking Crew” defense led the SWC in four statistical categories from 1991 through 1993 and led the nation in total defense in 1991. Over 50 Aggies were drafted into the NFL that served under Slocum during his time as head coach. After 14 years as head coach, Slocum parted ways with Texas A&M in 2002. He immediately took a position as special adviser to Texas A&M President Robert Gates. In May 2012, Slocum was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In April 2019, he was named interim athletic director for Texas A&M. Slocum is married to the former Nel Jennings. Slocum has two sons, Shawn and John Harvey, and both are Aggie graduates.

Emmitt Thomas
Emmitt Thomas is an Angleton, Texas native who played just one season of high school football before attending Bishop College in Dallas. His baseball coach suggested he try out for the football team, and he emerged as a skilled wide receiver and occasional quarterback. Hailing from a small historically Black college, Thomas went undrafted in the 1966 NFL Draft but later proved to be one of the best undrafted free agents in league history. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him out of college and initially had him practicing as a wide receiver. He wound up playing cornerback, and in 1968, Thomas earned American Football League (AFL) All-Star honors. In 1969, Thomas led the AFL with nine interceptions, which he returned for 146 yards and a touchdown, helping his team win the AFL Championship and the fourth and final AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The next year, the NFL and AFL merged, and Thomas notched 12 interceptions in 1974, leading the league yet again. He also led the league with 214 interception return yards and two return touchdowns off interceptions. Thomas retired as a player after 13 seasons with the Chiefs and finished with 58 interceptions, which he returned for 937 yards and five touchdowns. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. Thomas was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Following his 181-game playing career, Thomas began a career in coaching. After two seasons in the college ranks, he moved to the NFL in 1981 where he began a long run as an assistant coach with various teams. He was hired by the St. Louis Cardinals as a receivers coach and spent four seasons with the team. He joined the coaching staff of the Washington Redskins in 1986 in the same role and was made secondary coach a year later. Thomas spent eight seasons with the Redskins before taking a job as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator. He worked under head coach Ray Rhodes and followed Rhodes when he became head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1999, assuming the same position. In Green Bay, alongside Rhodes and Offensive Coordinator Sherman Lewis, Thomas formed the first trio of African Americans to serve in the top three coaching slots of an NFL team (head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator). Thomas served as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings before joining the staff of the Atlanta Falcons in 2002 as the senior defensive assistant coach and secondary coach. Thomas was named interim head coach of the Falcons in December 2007 and was tasked with leading the team through the rest of the season. In 2010, Thomas accepted the position of defensive backs coach for the Chiefs, where he coached through 2018. Smith married his wife Jacqueline Heafley in 1983, and they remained married until her passing in 2017. He has a son and daughter and now lives in Las Vegas, Nev. doing various coaching duties.

Jerry Ball
Jerry Ball hails from Beaumont, Texas and attended Hebert High School, then after integration graduated from West Brook High School, where he was a two-way football star as a fullback on offense and defensive end and linebacker on defense. He rushed for 1,000 yards as a senior and helped lead his team to the 1982 5A State Championship. Ball was a first-team all-state selection on defense while earning All-District honors at three positions. He played college football at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he switched to nose tackle, became a four-year letter-winner and ranks fourth on the school’s all-time sack list. Ball was a four-year starter, three-time first-team All-SWC and two-time finalist for the Lombardi and Outland Trophies. Ball was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft. After an outstanding first year in the league, Ball posted 68 tackles and 18.5 sacks in his second season, including the one and only safety in the 10-year career of legendary running back, Eric Dickerson. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons, amassing 32.5 sacks, most of which came during his time as a nose tackle for the Lions. Ball spent his entire career being double-teamed and often triple-teamed by opposing teams due to his dominant presence on the defensive line. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1989, 1990 and 1991. In 1991, Ball was injured by a “chop block,” which was, at that time, legal. As a result, the NFL instituted the “Jerry Ball Rule,” which outlawed blocks of that type. Ball remained on the injured list through the end of that season and into 1992 as well. The following year, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns, and then to the Oakland Raiders. From 1997 to 1999, he played for the Minnesota Vikings. He anchored the 1998 Vikings defense when he re-emerged as a leader and dominant force on the Vikings’ record-setting team that finished with a 15-1 record. Ball has three daughters and now has his own Detroit-based clothing company licensed by the NFL, called Ice Box Sportswear.

Wade Phillips
Wade Phillips was born in Orange, Texas, and is the son of former NFL coach Bum Phillips. He attended Port Neches-Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas, and went on to play football at the University of Houston. As a Houston Cougar, Phillips was a three-year starter at linebacker from 1966-68, when he set a former school record for career assisted tackles (228). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant to Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston in 1969. The next year, he took a job as defensive coordinator at the former Lutcher Stark High School in Orange. In 1973, Phillips took a job coaching under his father as the linebackers coach at Oklahoma State. He later coached the defensive line at Kansas under head coach Bud Moore in 1975. The next year, Phillips made the leap to coaching in the NFL, where he started as a linebackers coach for the Houston Oilers under his father, the head coach, before transitioning to coaching the defensive line from 1977 to 1980. Wade Phillips remained on his father Bum’s staff as the two of them left for the New Orleans Saints. Wade stepped in to be the interim head coach of the Saints after Bud stepped down in 1985. He spent the next three years as the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he oversaw defensive end Reggie White record 21 sacks in just 12 games in 1987. The Eagles went on to win the NFC East championship in 1988 under his guidance. Phillips then spent four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, where he helped the team reach Super Bowl XXIV. He earned his first official NFL head coaching gig for the Broncos in 1993, but was let go after the 1994 season. Phillips spent the next two seasons as defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills before stepping in to fill Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy’s shoes after his retirement. In 1998, Phillips was named the new Bills head coach. From 1998-2000, Phillips kept Buffalo in the playoff hunt and enjoyed a mostly successful coaching tenure. The team parted ways with him after the 2000 season, and he landed on his feet as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. In 2003, Phillips served a brief stint as the interim head coach of the Falcons prior to his move to the San Diego Chargers. He served as defensive coordinator for the Chargers for three seasons prior to accepting the head coaching job for the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. Chosen by Jerry Jones over candidates like Norv Turner, Ron Rivera and Jason Garrett, Phillips led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in his first season at the helm. After a 9-7 season in 2008, Phillips and the Cowboys bounced back to a division crown and an 11-5 record in 2009. Prior to the season, Phillips took over defensive coordinator duties in addition to his role as head coach. He earned his first playoff victory with a win over the Eagles, ending Dallas’ 12-year playoff win drought. After a disappointing start to the 2010 campaign, Phillips and the Cowboys parted ways, leading him to accept the defensive coordinator position with the Houston Texans in 2011. He earned recognition as the PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year after the Texans defense finished second in the NFL with 285.7 yards allowed per game. Phillips installed a 3-4 scheme that yielded the third-largest single-year improvement since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, reversing a unit that gave up 379.6 yards per game and ranked 31st in the NFL in 2010. The Texans’ head coach at the time, Gary Kubiak, collapsed in the middle of a game in November 2013, and Phillips had to step in as the interim coach for the squad. A month later, Kubiak and the Texans parted ways, opening the door for Phillips serve as interim head coach once again. In 2015, Phillips joined Kubiak’s staff with Broncos as the defensive coordinator. In his second stint in Denver, Phillips replaced his predecessor’s complex wait-and-react scheme with a simple style of going after the ball, making Denver the top-ranked defense that season. He helped the team to a 12-4 record and the number one seed in the AFC despite the team’s offensive troubles. The 2015 Broncos, anchored by Phillips’ dominant defense, went on to defeat the Carolina Panthers, who had the league’s top-ranked offense, in Super Bowl 50. After a successful run in Denver, he left to become the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. In Super Bowl LIII, Phillips’ defense was credited with keeping the New England Patriots and Tom Brady out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. Phillips finished his tenure with the Rams after a 9-7 campaign in 2019. In total, Phillips posted an 83-69 record, including regular season and playoffs, throughout his career as a head coach. Known as one of the game’s best defensive coordinators, various players under Phillips’ scheme have won Defensive Player of the Year honors, including Reggie White, Bryce Paup, Bruce Smith, J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald. Others have won Defensive Rookie of the Year, including Mike Croel and Shawne Merriman. Phillips and his wife, Laurie, met in 1964 at Port Neches-Groves High School, where he was the quarterback of the football team and she was the head cheerleader. They have a daughter, Tracy, and a son, Wes.

Steve Worster
Steve Worster was born in Wyoming, but his family settled in Orange County, Texas, when he was a young boy. He attended Bridge City High School in Bridge City, Texas, where he played fullback on the football team and catcher in baseball. He earned All-District honors all four years, All-State honors for three years, and accumulated 5,422 yards during his high school career, including 38 100-yard games, which is second in Texas prep history. Worster led his high school team to a 13-1 season and the Class 3A state football championship in 1966, rushing for 2,210 yards and being named a High School All-American. He was later inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame. Worster accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Texas under head coach Darrell Royal. As a halfback, he became the cornerstone of Royal’s legendary wishbone formation. Nicknamed “Big Woo”, Worster ran for 2,353 with 36 touchdowns at Texas. He was a part of three Southwest Conference titles and two national championships. He was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Southwest Conference selection, and he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1970. Worster has also been inducted into the Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. Worster was selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the 12th pick in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft, but he did not play in the league. Worster spent one year in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats prior to pursuing a career in sales. He has two children, Scott and Erin, as well as four grandchildren: Evan, Morgan, Noah and Lukas.

Vince Young
Vince Young grew up in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood of Houston, Texas, where he attended Madison High School. He started at quarterback for three years and garnered 12,987 yards of total offense during his high school career. As a senior, he led his team to the Class 5A state semifinals where he threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown in a hard-fought loss to Austin Westlake. Young was named Parade’s and Student Sports’ National Player of the Year after compiling 3,819 yards and 59 touchdowns as a senior. He was named the 2001 Texas 5A Offensive Player of the Year, was designated as The Sporting News’s top high school prospect and was awarded the Pete Dawkins Trophy in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Young attended the University of Texas and played quarterback under Head Coach Mack Brown. As a redshirt freshman, he earned snaps halfway through the season after initially being second on the depth chart. As a redshirt sophomore, Young started every game and led the Longhorns to an 11-1 record and the school’s first-ever appearance in the Rose Bowl, in which they defeated Michigan. As a redshirt junior in 2005, Young led the Longhorns to an 11-0 regular season record, a Big 12 championship and a national championship. Young led the Longhorns to defeat the favored USC Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl, in which he accounted for 467 of total offense and three rushing touchdowns. He finished the season with 3,036 yards passing and 1,050 yards rushing, earning him the Davey O’Brien Award as well as All-American honors. Young finished his career at Texas with a 30-2 record as a starter and a .938 winning percentage as a starting quarterback, which ranks sixth best in Division I history. During his career at Texas, Young passed for 6,040 yards (No. 5 in Texas history) and 44 touchdowns (No. 4 in Texas history) while rushing for 3,127 yards (No. 1 on the school’s all-time QB rushing list/No. 7 on Texas’ all-time list) and 37 touchdowns. He was also No. 10 on ESPN/IBM’s list of the greatest college football players ever. Young entered the 2006 NFL Draft and was selected third overall by the Tennessee Titans. As a rookie, he set the former record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback with 552. After a plethora of come-from-behind victories throughout the 2006 season, Young won the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and replaced Philip Rivers in the 2007 Pro Bowl. In 2007, Young passed for 2,459 yards with nine touchdowns and rushed for 395 yards with three touchdowns, leading the Titans team to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. The following year, Young suffered a knee injury and later assumed the backup role to Kerry Collins for the remainder of the 2008 season. After not starting for the first six games of the 2009 season, Young won eight of his 10 starts in fourth season in the league. The Titans began the year 0-6 and became the first team in NFL history to win five straight after losing their first six games. Young finished third in the bidding for NFL Comeback Player of the Year and was announced as the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year. Young appeared in his second Pro Bowl after taking a roster spot from an injured Philip Rivers yet again. After leading the Titans to a 4-5 record in nine of their first 10 games in 2010, Young suffered a thumb injury and played his last snap for the organization. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and started three games. Young spent the final years of his NFL career with brief stints for the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns. Young re-enrolled at Texas for the 2008 spring semester, and in 2013, he graduated with a degree in youth and community studies. He continues to live in Houston’s Hiram Clarke neighborhood. 

Dick Olin
Dick Olin, the patriarch of 7-on-7 football in Texas, was the head coach for Clinton High School in Clinton, Iowa, for 12 seasons (1971-1982), the longest tenure in school history. He led Clinton to its first state championship in 1975. Later, Olin went on to take the head coaching job at Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, Texas, for 17 seasons (1992-2008). At Lee, Olin had a successful run in which he posted a 106-78 total record with 11 playoff appearances and helped produce star quarterback talents like Jermain Alfred, Ell Roberson, Clint Stoerner, Brian Johnson and his stepson, Drew Tate. After his time at Lee High School, Olin accepted a position as head coach and athletic director for Lewisville High School in Lewisville, Texas. After three years of leading the athletic programs at Lewisville, he moved on to accept the role as offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin College in 2012. Olin is one of the founders of the state 7-on-7 summer football tournament and is a co-creator of the Bayou Bowl, the annual all-star game that airs on ABC13.

The 2021 Texas Bowl will feature teams from the Big 12 and SEC and will kick off in primetime on Tuesday, Jan. 4. The game, which has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance in the country behind only the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Peach Bowls since 2014, will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM). 

Tickets remain for the 2021 Texas Kickoff game featuring the Texas Tech University Red Raiders and the University of Houston Cougars on Saturday, September 4 and can be purchased through the website at www.texaskickoff.com.

 

CONTACTS:

Omar Majzoub
(832) 667-2241
omar.majzoub@houstontexans.com

Carly Klanac
(832) 667-2164
carly.boatwright@lsse.net

 

Press Release

TEXAS BOWL RETURNS TO NRG STADIUM IN PRIMETIME ON JANUARY 4TH

HOUSTONThe 2021 Texas Bowl will be played on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 in primetime at NRG Stadium in Houston. The 15th edition of the game will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio, with a local radio broadcast on Sports Radio 610 (KILT-AM) and will once again feature a matchup of Big 12 and SEC schools as it has since 2014. An announcement on the game time will be made on a later date. 

 

The Texas Bowl is one of the top-five most attended bowl games in the country, and the most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange Bowls.  The Texas Bowl and its sister event, the Texas Kickoff, have grown to become two of the most popular annual college football games in the country, combining to create an economic impact of close to $80 million annually for the city of Houston while raising over $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston’s oldest children’s charity and the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

 

In 2019, the Texas Bowl featured the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies, marking the sixth year of the Bowl’s affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. With an Aggies 24-21 victory over the Cowboys, then Texas A&M quarterback and current Minnesota Vikings’s quarterback Kellen Mond was named the 2019 Texas Bowl MVP.  Last year’s Texas Bowl was scheduled to feature TCU and Arkansas but was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

 

The Texas Bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment.  Ticket information for the event will be shared in the near future.  To be the first to get these updates and for more information around the game, fans can sign up for the Texas Bowl wait list at http://www.thetexasbowl.com/.

 

About the Texas Bowl
The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Texas Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the fifth most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates nearly $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated over $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

-LONE STAR SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT-

Press Release

ESPN Events and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment Cancel Mercari Texas Bowl

Due to an increased number of positive COVID-19 tests and other circumstances within the TCU football program, the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl has been canceled.

“While we are disappointed in canceling this year’s game, we look forward to hosting both the Texas Kickoff and Texas Bowl next season,” said David Fletcher, executive director. “We appreciate everyone’s support, including our new title sponsor, Mercari.” 

Tickets that were purchased for the game originally scheduled to take place at NRG Stadium in Houston will be refunded and processed by the outlet it was purchased through, including Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and Ticketmaster.

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Media contacts:

Mercari Texas Bowl: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com 

ESPN: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @ItsAnnaNegron

 

Press Release

2020 Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Announced

HOUSTON, TX – Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, the leading publication for all things football in Texas, and the Mercari Texas Bowl are proud to announce Hallettsville running back Jonathon Brooks as the recipient of the 2020 Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year. Brooks will be honored on the field at the Mercari Texas Bowl on Thursday, December 31st at NRG Stadium in Houston, where the TCU Horned Frogs will face the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Mr. Texas Football annually recognizes the most outstanding high school football player in the state of Texas.

Brooks, a 6-foot, 185-pound running back, dazzled the Texas high school football world as a senior, running for 3,530 yards — the 7th most in state history — and 62 touchdowns. When you add in his receiving talents and his sensational play on defense and special teams, his season is even more astounding: 3,849 total yards and 70 total touchdowns, tying former Mr. Texas Football winner Johnathan Gray of Aledo for the single-season scoring mark. His production sparked Hallettsville to its best season ever, as the Brahmas drove to the 3A Division I state championship game, their first title game appearance in their 107-year history. Brooks’ incredible play in all three phases of the game make him a worthy recipient of the 2020 Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year award.

Former winners of the award include 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray (2013 and 2014 winner, Allen), 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (2010 winner, Kerrville Tivy), former Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (2011 winner, Aledo), former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (2007 winner, Lamar Consolidated), current Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (2017 winner, Denton Ryan) and Carolina Panthers quarterback Garrett Gilbert (2008 winner, Lake Travis). Frisco Lone Star and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims took home the award in 2019.

The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will once again feature a matchup between Big 12 and SEC opponents. The 2019 Texas Bowl, which was among the top-5 most-attended bowls in the country for the sixth consecutive year, featured the Texas A&M Aggies, representing the SEC, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, representing the Big 12. The Aggies edged the Cowboys, 24-21, in a hard-hitting thriller. Overall, the Mercari Texas Bowl has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time.

For more information on the Mr. Texas Football Award, visit www.MercariTexasBowl.com or www.TexasFootball.com.

Mercari Texas Bowl
The Mercari Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The Mercari Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the 5th most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates over $30 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

About Dave Campbell’s Texas Football
For more than 60 years, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has been “the bible” to millions of football fans across the Lone Star State. The annual summer edition of the magazine remains a rite of passage for all Texans, previewing every football team in the state — from the rabid world of Texas high school football, through the college ranks, and into the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Over the course of six decades, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football remains the undisputed leader in Texas high school football, Texas college football and more.

TexasFootball.com is the online home of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, covering high school football, college football and recruiting all across the Lone Star State. From thought-provoking commentary to videos to podcasts to its daily live show, nobody covers football in Texas like TexasFootball.com.

Press Release

TCU AND ARKANSAS ACCEPT BIDS TO PLAY IN MERCARI TEXAS BOWL

Coaches to Discuss Mercari Texas Bowl in Conference Calls TODAY

HOUSTON – TCU and Arkansas have accepted bids to play in the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl, the bowl organizing committee announced today. TCU will represent the Big 12 Conference and Arkansas will represent the Southeastern Conference. The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium in Houston.  It will be televised on ESPN with radio broadcast nationally on ESPN Radio and locally in Houston on Sports Radio 610 (KILT-AM). 

“We’re excited to announce the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl matchup between TCU and Arkansas, two incredible universities from the Big 12 and the SEC,” said Board Chair Pete DeLongchamps. “We look forward to hosting the Horned Frogs and Razorbacks in the seventh consecutive Big 12 and SEC showdown. We can’t wait to welcome these teams and their fans for a great primetime matchup at NRG Stadium on New Year’s Eve.”

This will be the first time TCU and Arkansas have met at the Mercari Texas Bowl. The two schools have an outstanding history, having met 70 times with the Razorbacks leading the series with a 44-24-2 record. The two programs first met in 1920 when TCU was victorious 19-2. The last meeting occurred in 2017 when the Horned Frogs came out on top, 28-7.

Ticket prices range from $30-$150 and may be purchased online at www.MercariTexasBowl.com/tickets or on the phone at 832-667-2390. Special group packages are available by calling 832-667-2390. Fans can also call 832-667-2160 for more information on suites.  

The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will be the Horned Frogs’ second appearance in the bowl since 2007. In the Horned Frogs first appearance, they defeated the Houston Cougars 20-13. TCU has appeared in 34 bowl games, totaling a record of 17-16-1 in the postseason. In their 20th season under Head Coach Gary Patterson, the team finished their regular season with a 6-4 overall record and 5-4 record in Big 12 conference play. The matchup against the Razorbacks would be the first time the teams have seen each other since 2017, when the Horned Frogs defeated the Razorbacks 28-7.

The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl would mark the Razorbacks’ second appearance in the bowl game. In their first trip to the Mercari Texas Bowl in 2014, the Razorbacks defeated the Texas Longhorns 31-7. The Razorbacks finished their regular season with a record of 3-7, in their first season under Head Coach Sam Pittman. The matchup against the Horned Frogs would be the 71st meeting between the two schools, dating back to 1920. 

Conference Call Information
The head coaches for TCU and Arkansas will conduct conference calls this evening to discuss the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl. TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson will be available at 4:30 p.m. CT and Arkansas Head Coach Sam Pittman will be available at 4:45 p.m. CT. 

Zoom Link: https://houstontexans.zoom.us/j/88609217713?pwd=dlZ3ZzNNZWZUZ0JuU1FDRlc2WjF0dz09 
Zoom Call-In Number: 1-877-853-5247
Meeting ID: 886 0921 7713
Passcode: 743849
Availability:

    • TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson at 4:45 p.m. CT  
    • Arkansas Head Coach Sam Pittman at 5:00 p.m. CT 

MERCARI TEXAS BOWL
The Mercari Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The Mercari Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the 5th most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates over $30 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as one of the leading sports event promoters in the country. In addition to hosting the Mercari Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff annually, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. Tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring music superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACTS:
Mercari Texas Bowl Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com 
ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com ; @ItsAnnaNegron

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Press Release

TICKETS FOR THE 2020 MERCARI TEXAS BOWL GO ON SALE FRIDAY, DEC. 18

HOUSTON – Tickets for the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will go on sale to the general public Friday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. CT. The Bowl will host up to 13,300 fans this year at NRG Stadium due to COVID-19 parameters.

This year’s game, featuring a Big 12 versus SEC showdown for the 7th straight year, will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. CT, at NRG Stadium in Houston and will air on ESPN. The bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

Ticket prices range from $30-$150 and may be purchased online at www.MercariTexasBowl.com/tickets or on the phone at 832-667-2390. Special group packages are available by calling 832-667-2390. Fans can also call 832-667-2160 for more information on suites.  

Last year’s Mercari Texas Bowl saw the Texas A&M Aggies defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys 24-21.  The Mercari Texas Bowl has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance since 2016, averaging over 65,000 attendees annually and trailing only the Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl in that time. 

For more information including safety protocols in place for this year’s event at NRG Stadium, visit mercaritexasbowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

 

About Mercari
Mercari is your marketplace. Our platform connects millions of people across the U.S. to shop and sell items no longer being used. Mercari is constantly innovating to make exchanges easier, from at-home authentication to improvements in online payments and shipping. Mercari has more than 50 million downloads in the U.S. and 350,000 new listings every day, empowering the next generation to transform the way they shop. Mercari can be downloaded on app stores or accessed online through www.mercari.com

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

 

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as one of the leading sports event promoters in the country. In addition to hosting the Mercari Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff annually, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. Tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring music superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACT:
Mercari Texas Bowl Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

###

 

Press Release

MERCARI NAMED THE NEW TITLE SPONSOR OF THE TEXAS BOWL

HOUSTON – Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN Events today announced Mercari, Inc. (Mercari US) as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl, an annual collegiate postseason showdown between teams from the Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference. Entering its 15th year, the Mercari Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans.  The title sponsorship with Mercari US is being managed by its advertising agency of record, Rain the Growth Agency, and was brokered by Denver-based Impression Sports & Entertainment.  

The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. CT, at NRG Stadium in Houston and will air on ESPN. The bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

The Mercari Texas Bowl has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance since 2016, averaging over 65,000 attendees annually and trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange Bowls in that time. The Bowl will host up to 13,300 fans this year at NRG Stadium due to COVID-19 parameters.

“Mercari is thrilled to serve as the title sponsor of the Mercari Texas Bowl in Houston, Texas” said John Lagerling, CEO of Mercari US. “This has been a challenging year for many Americans, and Mercari is committed to supporting the needs of everyone who loves and contributes to our marketplace. At its core, Mercari is about connecting people and we are looking forward to bringing football fans around the country together to enjoy the storied tradition of this iconic game."

The Bowl has generated an average impact of over $30 million annually for the Houston economy. Through the Bowl’s relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, nearly $2 million in financial support has also been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

“We are excited to welcome Mercari as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl,” said David Fletcher, Executive Director of the Mercari Texas Bowl. “The Mercari Texas Bowl has become one of the biggest college football events in the country through a strong partnership with the Big 12, SEC and many great supporters in the Houston community. We are thrilled to add a partner in Mercari, one of the most exciting new brands and e-commerce platforms in the U.S., to further elevate the event and the experience.”

In the 2019 Bowl, the Texas A&M Aggies were victorious over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a 24-21 shootout in front of a crowd of 68,415. The 2019 game was among the top-five most-attended bowls in the country for the fourth consecutive year and was also one of the top-ten most watched bowl games of 2019.

For more information on tickets and safety protocols in place for attendees, visit mercaritexasbowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

About Mercari US
Mercari is your marketplace. Our platform connects millions of people across the U.S. to shop and sell items no longer being used. Mercari is constantly innovating to make exchanges easier, from at-home authentication to improvements in online payments and shipping. Mercari has more than 50 million downloads in the U.S. and 350,000 new listings every day, empowering the next generation to transform the way they shop. Mercari can be downloaded on app stores or accessed online through www.mercari.com

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as one of the leading sports event promoters in the country. In addition to hosting the Mercari Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff annually, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. Tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring music superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.

Rain the Growth Agency
Rain the Growth Agency is an independent, women-led, performance-minded, fully integrated advertising agency. We link strategy, creative and production with audience targeting, dynamic media buying and advanced analytics to achieve sales and branding goals simultaneously, without compromise. Our holistic Transactional Brand Building approach produces transformational growth for clients ranging from DTC fast companies and category disruptors to established brands with traditional models. For more than 20 years, we have been scaling businesses such as Peloton, Chewy, Wayfair, LendingTree, Humana, 23andMe, SimpliSafe and 1-800 Contacts. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon and co-founded in 1998 by Michelle Cardinal, our agency has grown to over 250 employees in four offices across the U.S.

 

Impression Sports & Entertainment
Impression Sports & Entertainment provides clients with full-service sponsorship sales representation, sponsorship consulting and venue naming rights services. Founded in 2011, Impression Sports is one of the leading firms in the business, led by its staff’s widespread industry experience and results-driven approach. Impression Sports partners with top organizations in the sports world including USC, Florida Citrus Sports, The Independence Bowl Foundation, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Auburn University, the Fiesta Bowl Organization, USA Swimming, Sun Bowl Association and ESPN Events among others. 

Based in Denver, Impression Sports is owned by Home Team Sports, a sports marketing unit of FOX Sports.  Home Team Sports helps fans extend love for their home teams to the brands that associate with and support them. Through its proud representation of all regional sports networks across the country and an ever-expanding portfolio, Home Team Sports provides game coverage of all MLB, NBA and NHL home teams in the U.S., reaching over 90 million homes across television and streaming platforms. 

CONTACT:
Mercari: Tiffany Olson, tiffany.olson@mercari.com 
Rain the Growth Agency: Steve Miller, 503-222-0025, steve.miller@rainforgrowth.com 
Mercari Texas Bowl and LSSE Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com 
ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @ItsAnnaNegron

Press Release

Semifinalists for the 2020 Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Announced

HOUSTON – Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, the leading publication for all things football in Texas, and the Texas Bowl proudly announce the 25 semifinalists for the Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Award.

Mr. Texas Football annually recognizes the most outstanding high school football player in the state of Texas. Each week, fans are given a chance to vote for the player of the week on TexasFootball.com. At the end of the high school football season, 10 finalists will be named. Fans can then cast their vote as to who should be named Mr. Texas Football. The winner of the 2020 Mr. Texas Football Award will be announced prior to the 2020 Texas Bowl, which will be played on December 31 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Frisco Lone Star and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims took home the award in 2019. Former winners of the award include 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray (2013 and 2014 winner, Allen), 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (2010 winner, Kerrville Tivy), former Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (2011 winner, Aledo), former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (2007 winner, Lamar Consolidated), current Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (2017 winner, Denton Ryan) and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert (2008 winner, Lake Travis).

The 2020 Bowl will once again feature a matchup between Big 12 and SEC opponents. The 2019 Texas Bowl, which was among the top-5 most-attended bowls in the country for the sixth consecutive year, featured the Texas A&M Aggies, representing the SEC, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, representing the Big 12. The Aggies edged the Cowboys, 24-21, in a hard-hitting thriller. Overall, the Texas Bowl has ranked fifth in attendance since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in that time.

For more information on the Mr. Texas Football Award, visit www.texasbowl.com or www.texasfootball.com .

2020 Mr. Texas Football Semifinalists 

ATH JoJo Earle, Aledo
QB Conner Weigman, Bridgeland
RB Cash Jones, Brock
QB Ryder Hernandez, Cedar Park
QB Andrew Body, Corpus Christi Miller
ATH JaTavion Sanders, Denton Ryan
QB Behren Morton, Eastland
QB Garrett Nussmeier, Flower Mound Marcus
QB Dematrius Davis, Galena Park North Shore
QB Dane Jentsch, Grandview
DT Ed Bobino, Huntsville
QB Cole Andrus, Jourdanton
QB Jalen Milroe, Katy Tompkins
QB Ace Whitehead, Lampasas
RB Jordan Jenkins, Lindale
QB Kolt Schuckers, Lindsay
QB Sawyer Robertson, Lubbock Coronado
ATH Roddrell Freeman, Mart
RB Steve Johnson, Port Lavaca Calhoun
RB De'shon Goodley, Rankin
QB Braedyn Locke, Rockwall
QB Eddie Lee Marburger, Sharyland Pioneer
QB Quinn Ewers, Southlake Carroll
LB Clayton Smith, Texarkana Texas High
RB Zach Hrbacek, Troy

 

About the Texas Bowl
The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since  2014. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the 5th most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates over $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

About Dave Campbell’s Texas Football
For more than 60 years, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has been “the bible” to millions of football fans across the Lone Star State. The annual summer edition of the magazine remains a rite of passage for all Texans, previewing every football team in the state — from the rabid world of Texas high school football, through the college ranks, and into the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Over the course of six decades, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football remains the undisputed leader in Texas high school football, Texas college football and more.

TexasFootball.com is the online home of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, covering high school football, college football and recruiting all across the Lone Star State. From thought-provoking commentary to videos to podcasts to its daily live show, nobody covers football in Texas like TexasFootball.com.