As the dog days of summer continue on, the Pampa community will have an opportunity to get in football mode on July 31 when First Baptist Church hosts Night of Champions.
The event is free to the public and will feature former Auburn football coach and current SEC Network Analyst Gene Chizik.
“We have a friend in Tennessee who is a pastor and a friend to Gene Chizik,” First Baptist Church pastor Byron Williamson said. “They host this type of event in Tennessee, George and a lot of places in the Southeast. We were talking about doing something here right before (former Pampa football coach) Greg Poynor left. When (Pampa head football coach) Cody Robinson got here I pitched it to him and he was on board.”
Williamson added the event, which could hopefully become an annual event, is targeting athletes, but everyone could benefit from attending.
“(Football) is what catches people’s attention because this is Texas,” Williamson said. “It’s right before football practices kick off but we think it could be a lot of fun. Coach Chizik is a Christian man and has coached at the highest levels of NCAA football. The pressure and what he has seen/been exposed to over the years is a tremendous wealth of wisdom.”
There will be a special private session for coaches at 5:30 p.m. and the main event starts at 6:30 p.m. in the First Baptist Church auditorium.
Former voice of the Pampa Harvesters Donny Hooper will emcee the event while Robinson will interview Chizik.
Williamson added that area little league/pee wee sports are invited and recognized at the event.
For more information on the event, call First Baptist Church at 806-669-1155 or Coach Robinson at the Pampa High School Athletic Office 806-669-4830.
About Gene Chizik
Gene Chizik attended the University of Florida where he played linebacker for the Gators’ football team. Chizik’s coaching career began in 1986 at Seminole (FL) High School where he served as the defensive coordinator and the inside linebacker coach. Chizik received his first head coaching position in 2007 at Iowa State. Coach Chizik has coaching opportunities at Texas, Central Florida, Middle Tennessee, & North Carolina. Auburn hired Coach Chizik on December 13, 2008 as the head coach. In his first year with the Tigers, Chizik had a quick turnaround with the team when he helped them get to the 2010 Outback Bowl. In 2010, Chizik led the Tigers to the SEC Championship and the National Championship. Today you will find Coach Chizik as one of the main analysts on ESPN’s SEC Network.