Tillman scholars recall doing the coin toss during Super Bowl LVII

The next big spotlight they will all be taking part in is Pat’s Run. It is the 15th largest road race in the country.
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 6:00 AM MST|Updated: Apr. 11, 2023 at 9:15 AM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The 19th annual Pat’s Run is just days away and the money raised from this event helps further the mission of more than 800 scholars from the Pat Tillman Foundation. The Valley played host to the Super Bowl in February, and that event gave four scholars a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. During a Zoom call, retired Arizona Cardinals player and this year’s race starter J.J. Watt delivered the news they were chosen to do the coin toss before the big game.

Tillman Scholar Robert Ham said it was a thrill to get the news, especially from Watt. “It took me a second to process all that, but it’s very exciting,” fellow scholar Dave Prakash said.

Even more exciting for the scholars was the exposure the foundation got on a national stage. That exposure helped further Tillman’s legacy as a video about the foundation and what they do was played before the game. The next big spotlight they will all be taking part in is Pat’s Run. It is the 15th largest road race in the country.

J.J. Watt surprised the Pat Tillman Scholars with the news that they will be on the field for the coin toss as the four honorary captains of the Super Bowl.

Annually, the event raises $1 million in scholarship funds to help support the mission of the foundation, something current scholars say means so much. “Having left the military and gone back to business school and having the support of the Pat Tillman Foundation inspires me just as much even if not more today, than even when I saw Pat, leave the military or leave the NFL almost 20 years ago,” shared Prakash.

The scholars are each selected for their commitment to service, outstanding scholarship achievement, humble leadership and potential for impact. In June, the foundation will announce its 15th class. The scholars represent five military branches — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and the Coast Guard — as well as military spouses.

The humble hometown hero gave up his pro football career to enlist after 9/11 and died in Afghanistan 19 years ago this month.