If you are in Lubbock Texas Tech athlete, don't worry, your eyes are probably not deceiving you.
Over 200 past Red Raider greats are expected to partake in activities starting Friday morning running through Saturday night. The reason for the get-together centers around, of course, Texas Tech's Red and Black spring game 11 a.m. Saturday at Jones At&T Stadium.
Former star quarterback Rodney Allison, who was hired as full-time director of the Double T Varsity Club (previously known as the Double T Association) back in June when the program moved under the leadership of the athletic department, expects double the turnout this year from last.
"I think there is a lot of excitement because of the full-time position that was created to reach out to them and communicate with them on a regular basis," said Allison, who saw the impact of an organized letterman association first-hand as an assistant coach at programs such as Auburn and Clemson. "It's also very important that Kliff (Kingsbury), Tubby (Smith), Candi (Whitaker) and coach (Tim) Tadlock; all of these coaches are a part of it. It takes everybody working together to help welcome all the people back."
The breakdown of athletes returning to Lubbock this week per sport is approximately 70 percent football and 10-15 percent basketball, but many former athletes from all the sports--both male and female--will be represented.
"We'll have guys like Seth Doege and Taylor Potts, then we'll go back to guys like Phil Tucker, who was an All-American offensive lineman here in the sixties," Allison said. "So we're pretty much spanning the whole spectrum with recent graduates and kind of the old timers, if you will."
Allison expressed his desire to make a splash this weekend in a continued effort to reach out to former student-athletes and welcome them home.
"We're really trying to brand who we are and get this thing kicked off with a special group of people where we welcome them back," Allison said Thursday. "It's about the camaraderie, the fun and all that stuff."
The festivities begin 8 a.m. Friday with the 2014 Double T Varsity Spring Golf Tournament at the Rawls Course. A second group will tee off at 1:30 p.m. Allison said Kliff Kingsbury and the rest of the football coaching staff are expected to attend and be out there for a couple hours.
The lettermen and their families will be seated in the Stadium Club for the spring game Saturday and will tailgate in the parking lot directly following the game. Allison said free tickets will be given to any former athlete wanting to go to the baseball game at 3 p.m. or the softball game at 4 p.m.
The Double T Varsity Club will also partake in a fundraiser Saturday night in honor of longtime football secretary Jennie Bailey, who was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer last year.
"Jennie is very special to the athletic department, she has been there for 28 years and she's fighting cancer," Allison said. "I was approached a couple months ago about getting former athletes, particularly football players to get involved. We are just making it part of our weekend and we are encouraging our former athletes to support what they are trying to do for her to help pay some of her medical bills. It's really a no-brainer, she's part of our family and really what this is all about."
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