The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team brought in a new captain for the Austin Peay game last Saturday. Jack Johnson signed with the Mocs at their team meeting on Friday night and was an honorary member of the squad in Saturday’s 42-10 win over the Governors.
Johnson was introduced to the team on Friday by head coach Russ Huesman during their evening meeting. There he signed his own version of a National Letter of Intent to become a member of the Mocs. With his parents, Ben and Jill, sitting by his side, the entire team cheered him on as Coach Huesman handed over a blue pen.
Johnson became a part of the Mocs through the Friends of Jaclyn program. Started in 2005 by Denis and Lynda Murphy, the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FoJ) seeks to improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors. The FoJ program pairs these children and their families with collegiate athletic programs. Johnson was the 415th adoptee since the program began.
“To be this socially aware says a lot about your coach and this institution,” stated Friends of Jaclyn Founder and President Denis Murphy. It is his daughter, Jaclyn, who serves as the inspiration of the foundation. She has battled medulloblastoma since 2004, but is now a sophomore at Marist.
Johnson is a native of Nashville who is battling brain cancer. He is also autistic, but he did not let any of that keep him from cheering on the Mocs. He told the team on Friday, “I did not come all of this way to lose!”
Johnson was on the field for the pregame coin toss and in the locker room as the center of the postgame celebration. The chants of “Jack, Jack, Jack,” rang out with a big cheer from the Mocs for their newest teammate.
Be sure to check out link to the Times Free Press article in Saturday’s paper at the top of the page. Also attached to this story is a video and photos of Jack’s time with the Mocs.