Trojan Football Alumni Club continues to Fight On! Helps USC alums in time of need
By April MacIntyre Oct 6, 2010, 20:09 GMT
University of Southern California has a deep academic and sports tradition, and is comprised of many loyal alumni. Courtesy of USC
University of Southern California has a deep academic and sports tradition, and is comprised of many loyal alumni.
USC Trojan Nation is a vast camp of current and former players and fans who wear the colors of the historic school and celebrate the team's victories and mourn the losses, year in, year out.
When the final season has ended and the cheers have faded away, much like the number on that jersey, gridiron heroes tend to recall those glory days in their own minds. Perhaps during the occasional get-together with the two or three others who helped turn that 4th and long into a victory celebration.
But not the USC Trojans.
Thanks to a half century-old tradition, every young man who has ever walked through the tunnel into that historic coliseum and experienced the adrenaline pumping feeling of 103,000 people cheering, now has a place to reminisce, re-live and remember when with a group of like-minded souls whose motto - Fight On - has become a life long mission.
They really mean it when they say they are a Trojan Family. The Trojan Football Alumni Club (TFAC) that was originally founded in 1955 when a handful of former players met up at the funeral of teammate, Jay Perrin.
They realized they shouldn’t have to wait for a funeral to meet up and support each other.
Now, half a century later is it still going strong. This organization is the only one of its kind. No other college football team has an alumni support club!
TFAC isn’t just about celebrating the team or reliving the glory days of being a Trojan, it is also about mentoring the young Trojans and giving them guidance in life and in work.
Club President Mike McGirr shared with Monsters and Critics that he considers TFAC as “a resource file of business and professional leaders who have the time available to meet with those seeking advice and direction.”
Many of the TFAC members have seen glory in the of the NFL gridiron but still consider USC their home while former players went directly into the work force after realizing their dreams of being a Pro athlete were not going to come true.
But, as a Trojan they knew that regardless of where you ended up after leaving the team, you are still a Trojan, and that is what this football alumni club is all about.
And, it is because of TFAC that USC celebrates “Salute To Troy” at the start of every season. They pioneered this traditional event as well as the annual season ending Trojan Football Awards Banquet.
Not only does TFAC mentor the younger generation of former players, but they also sponsor a scholarship expressly for a graduating player who wants to get his graduate degree at USC.
McGirr says, “Since 1978 we have awarded, in partnership with the John Wayne family, dozens of post-graduate scholarships to former players not pursuing professional football careers. The most recent recipient is Special Teams QB, Garrett Green. “
TFAC are there for their teammates and families in hard times that can include severe health issues or even coping with a death, supporting them in the ways that close friends and family do for each other.
An example of this includes Chris Bymer, USC OL ('93-'98) who was recently arrested for assault in San Francisco.
In the last few years, Bymer has fallen on hard times and was living on the streets. After successful years playing at USC and in the professional ranks, Chris obtained a USC degree and managed a profitable mortgage banking company. Now, facing incarceration, Chris looks to be suffering from mental health issues that may have been brought on by his extended playing career. Source
The TFAC family has been rallying Chris’ former teammates and friends to show him and his family support as character witnesses or just to help a friend in need. They are hopeful that they can get their fellow “brother of Troy” back on his way to living in a safe and stable environment.
For more information about the Trojan Football Alumni club: LINK