Here at TCU, we have a football tradition. And unlike some other schools, it doesn’t involve dragging a miniature pony across the field of play every time the team scores a touchdown. Nope, we’re different because our tradition involves producing incredible football players that consistently make it in the NFL. But let’s be honest, while football is the sport of the gods, we’re actually pretty good at other sports, too, and as such have produced some decent pros that some might even call legends.
Take baseball for example. TCU has a good pedigree with three MLB pros currently active. First up is Matt Carpenter, a three-time, all-star with the St. Louis Cardinals who is locked into a contract until 2019. They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree: His mother was a good softball player in her time while his dad was a college player who now coaches high school. The other two players currently active are Andrew Cashner and Jake Arrieta. Although both have had moderately successful careers, neither is currently signed to a team. Former Cubs player Arrieta is probably hurting the most though; his final baseball experience was that game 5 loss to the Dodgers.
You thought we forgot about Jeff Zimmerman, didn’t you? Of course not. The former Texas Rangers all-star had a notable time in the MLB, but we all know that his injuries ravaged what looked like a promising career.
On the tennis courts, we had David Pate. Sure he’s not someone you think of when you watch tennis, but the guy won 18 doubles titles including the Australian Open in 1991, the same year he made it to the finals of the U.S. Open. That’s the funny thing about tennis; unless you win the singles titles, no one remembers you. Don’t worry, David, we’ve got your back.
On the golf course, we have two alumni who are currently making steady progress on tour. Angela Stanford has five tournament wins on the LPGA Tour and played on the Solheim Cup teams on six occasions. Our other golfing alumni is J.J. Henry, a solid player on the PGA Tour that has yet to win any tournaments.
While J.J. might not be what you’d call a household name, he has earned over $16 million during his time on the PGA Tour, and this year, he pulled in over $700k. Not bad, but still, an awfully long way from the $5 million Rory McIlroy banked as one of the highest earning sportsmen.
We’ll admit that the names on our list while accomplished athletes haven’t quite hit the legend status, but the last name on our list is deserving of the moniker “living legend.”
Now you may not know the name Bill Collins, but you should. He’s a sprinter who broke several world records in his time and won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games. But while those are impressive feats, they’re not quite why he has gained legendary status in our book. He had a good career on the track and managed to keep himself fit into his senior years. And at the age of 60, he broke the world indoor record for the M60 200 and 400 meters.
However, in 2011, he suffered a paralysis in his legs due to Guillain-Barre syndrome and was confined to a wheelchair. Yet somehow against all the odds, he walked again and in 2012, set a new world record in the 60 meters at the USATF Indoor Masters Championships. Nothing gives us more pride than seeing a Horned Frog alumnus refuse to admit defeat. Bill Collins not only conquered old age in his quest to become the fastest senior on the planet but also overcame an incurable affliction to do it all over again. So, the next time someone asks you to name a Horned Frog legend, you tell them the story of Bill Collins, a proud TCU alumnus who never gave up.