Fearless Champions Leadership Academy Completes Successful First Year

The Fearless Champions Leadership Academy, the first comprehensive program of its kind in a collegiate athletics department, has completed its first year with rave reviews from Texas Tech student-athletes.

The academy is yet another successful milestone in the success of The Campaign For Fearless Champions, which was publicly announced in August.

Led by Hall of Fame Coach Marsha Sharp, the academy is designed to prepare student-athletes for success after graduation. The six components of the academy focus on character and leadership, wellness and life skills, career education, community service, professional development and a lecture series.

“Leadership education and training are critical components of student-athlete success,” Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. “Along with the athletic and educational instruction they receive on our campus, this academy is providing opportunities for them to grow and mature as young adults and preparing them for a successful life when they leave Texas Tech.”

The academy and its curriculum is led through the athletics department by leadership that understands the needs of Texas Tech student-athletes.

“We are proud to be educating our young athletes to be leaders not only on the field but also in their lives after collegiate athletics,” said Mickey Long, chairman of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents. “Upon graduation, our student-athletes are prepared to be effective leaders in their career, community and family which will inspire future generations to build on these critical life skills.”

Underscoring Texas Tech’s long-term vision for the program, the academy is listed among the priorities for The Campaign for Fearless Champions, an on-going fundraising initiative to enhance athletic facilities, invest in scholarship endowments and grow the leadership academy. The campaign goal for the leadership academy is to establish a $5 million endowment to provide operations support and ensure that current and future Red Raiders can be exposed to this life-altering curriculum.

The academy received a lead gift of $2.5 million from the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation.

“The Texas Tech Leadership Academy provides unparalleled leadership opportunities for young men and women and we are proud to support such an important initiative,” Talkington Charitable Foundation Board Chairman Norton Baker said. “The Leadership Academy creates a culture of ethical behavior, civility, and servant leadership for Texas Tech University and the Lubbock community.”

Since that lead gift, additional funds have been raised from donors that believe in the mission of the academy and its potential to positively impact the careers of Texas Tech student-athletes.

“This class changed the way I approach life and people.”

Matias DominguezStudent-Athlete, Men's Golf
Texas Tech University

Most recently, Texas Tech Head Golf Coach Greg Sands credited Matias Dominguez’ success at the Latin America Amateur Championship. Dominguez will be the first Red Raider to play at the Masters while on the current roster.

“He has worked so hard at becoming a leader and has really taken on the role of being our team captain,” Sands noted. “He thrived in the Leadership class that he took last semester as part of the Fearless Champions Leadership Academy and that has made a huge difference for him. Whether it’s the leadership class or all the things he’s learned through [leadership development professional] Mark Tribus, it has really helped mature him into our team leader.”

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