Mentors have played an important role in my life and I recommend every officer establish a mentor relationship at each stage of their career and life. Recently, I met one of my mentors as I decided to apply for a promotion at UTPD. He took me under his wing and gave me some of the best advice I have ever received because it led me to another mentor with more good advice. Through this process alone, I feel that I have learned that you should never give up on your dreams and always strive to be a better person and colleague. You owe that to everyone you come into contact with in life and on the job. My most important mentor is Natalie Coffey, my best friend and partner of 33 years. Together, we have two amazing children. Natalie and I have both been fortunate enough to have our dream jobs and share the parenting responsibilities. Natalie worked on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Chief of Staff and I played professional football in the NFL with the New England Patriots and the Arena Football League with a number of different teams. Little did I know after playing professional football that I would be fortunate enough to land a second dream job here at The University of Texas at Austin.
What I like best about my job is that I have the opportunity to mentor officers early in their careers when retention is particularly important. I give them guidance and opportunities to learn and I provide support when they need or want to share their ideas. I help them implement their ideas, when appropriate, by sharing those ideas with UTPD leadership. My mentorship also includes a personal side. I let the officers get to know me and if they want to share their life experiences with me I am available to listen. I have found that this career requires a lot of trust and dependence on your fellow officer so it is good to have both personal and professional knowledge of your colleagues.
In my spare time I like to play golf and relax on my deck. One of my mentors at UTPD helped me build the deck and I love the deck because it is the perfect man cave with a big screen TV. I recently checked off a Bucket List item when I played golf at Pebble Beach. Other Bucket List items include traveling to Europe once my son Spencer completes his Ph.D.; and golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland. People would be surprised to know that I still enjoy riding skateboards and it is something I loved as a child. I am the youngest of six children and my dad was a firefighter in the Air Force.
The one thing that I want everyone to know about being an officer in The University of Texas System is that it is an excellent opportunity to receive outstanding training, excellent health benefits, and work events where you meet interesting people.