Over the past 25 years the University of Minnesota has produced some very good running backs. None have been more productive than Darrell Thompson. His 4,654 yards and 40 touchdowns are Gopher records and he ranks 7th in Big Ten history for rushing yards gained. On the field there is no doubt that Darrell Thompson made quite an impact for the Golden Gophers, but his impact didn't end there.
Since his playing days for the maroon and gold Thompson was drafted by the Packers and played five seasons before retiring from football. You also are probably familiar with Thompson's voice as the color-man on radio broadcasts of Golden Gopher football. But this is about Darrell Thompson the man and what he has been able to give back to those around him, beyond what he gave on the old Metrodome turf.
Perhaps Thompson's greatest accomplishment - beyond dominating the Big Ten, beyond earning a first round draft position, beyond being in the game Tecmo-Super Bowl and beyond contributing to the Gopher radio broadcast - is what he has given back to the Twin Cities community. Darrell Thompson is the founder and executive director of Bolder Options, an early intervention and youth program.
As a former NFL caliber athlete Thompson knew he had a unique opportunity and platform to do some good in his community. This quote was taken from a promo video in 2009.
Athletic stardome is a gift few ever get to enjoy. The question is what do you do with this gift? The answer is that you can do more than you think. So this is my challenge to you, be you a star player, a team or a commercial sponsor; life is bigger than the game. Do more with the opportunity that you've been given.
Bolder Options has been in the Twin Cities community for nearly 20 years and is an innovative mentoring program focusing on healthy youth development. The comprehensive program coordinates family, community, school, and county resources in a united effort to support youth, 10-14 years old, who are at-risk for dropping out of school or becoming involved in delinquent or unhealthy behaviors. This program has been helping at-risk kids in the Twin Cities to develop healthy habits and giving them tools and encouragement to be successful academically as well.
Programs like this make a tremendous difference in our communities and more significantly in the lives of these youth and their families. In an era when few college football players graduate and many waste the opportunities afforded them, Thompson has done more with what he was given. Hats off to you, Darrell Thompson, for using your platform to better the lives of youth around you.
For more information on Bolder Options and ways you can contribute please check out their website www.bolderoptions.com.
To see the rest of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, and even share a story of your own, go to ncaa.com/buick. This post is sponsored by Buick.