Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Houston Texans and Texas Southern University athletic department have launched a ground-breaking partnership that will benefit the student-athletes in the classroom and on the playing field.

Texan’s new head coach Lovie Smith was on campus to help usher in the new two-year partnership that will include scholarships, facility upgrades, along with mentoring and internship opportunities for TSU’s student-athletes.”We are happy to honor Coach Lovie Smith for his historic elevation to head coach, and for his contributions to the entire Houston community,” TSU Board of Regents Chairman Albert Myres said. “Coach Smith embodies leadership qualities that we work to demonstrate daily. We appreciate all that he does and all that he is to our community.”The partnership will focus on three core initiatives that include upgrading athletic facilities, funding scholarships for female student-athletes and students, faculty and staff engagement.

Here is what the Texan’s commitment to TSU will entail over the next two years.

·         Donate the team’s artificial playing surface from NRG Stadium

·         Support football field house improvements that will assist with recruiting top-tier student-athletes to TSU

·         Award scholarships to five female student-athletes each year

·         Create opportunities and programming that will provide access to professional development, internships, and mentoring for TSU students, faculty, staff, and athletics leadership.

“The Houston Texans are proud to partner with TSU to support the university’s student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” Houston Texans Chair and Chief Executive Officer Cal McNair said. “It is our hope that this partnership will enrich the next generation’s love of the game of football while providing unique opportunities to our community’s future leaders.”TSU views the partnership as a forward-moving opportunity for its students, as well as the institution.“This partnership with the Texans will assist in transforming the lives of our TSU students. This investment affords our scholar-athletes additional resources to ensure their success on and off the field,” Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, President of Texas Southern University said. “Given the facilities enhancements, the professional development, internships and scholarships, our young scholars will exhibit exemplary performance!”