SAN ANTONIO – The 2nd Annual KSAT Pigskin Classic, held on Friday and Saturday, will feature the Uvalde Coyotes taking on the Jefferson Mustangs during Saturday’s second game.
Longtime San Antonio football coach and educator Daryl Hemphill is doing the honorary coin toss before kickoff and has a special bond and connection with both schools.
Before Hemphill retired after decades in coaching, he was asked by Northside ISD to help teachers and students in the wake of the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde.
“Nothing ever prepares you. Sometimes you got to just be ready, be ready to help,” said Hemphill. “I went down a couple of days in May after the shooting, and it changed me. Until you put your feet in somebody else’s shoes, it’s just a whole different perspective.”
But Hemphill’s work wasn’t done. He was asked to return to Uvalde in December and serve as principal at Morales Junior High School. He accepted the assignment without knowing anyone in Uvalde.
For six months, Hemphill drove every week to Uvalde, stayed in a hotel and worked to help heal the community.
“It was a humbling, rewarding experience. Six months of going down there and building relationships, establishing trust, getting kids to believe in education again, making teachers believe that they’re important,” said Hemphill.
Coach Hemp, as he’s known, used his background as a former NFL player and high school coach to help bring the school together.
“I got to know everybody in that school, and I told them every day, ‘You’re important. Your value here is great,’” said Hemphill.
Serving as principal was another first in a long line of them for Hemphill. He was the first Black quarterback at Jefferson High School and the first black varsity head football coach and athletics administrator at NISD.
“That meant a lot, and as I got older, pioneered that and maybe gave some inspiration to others,” said Hemphill. “The first means something, but it’s what you do when you’re there.”
Inspiring others is what Coach Hemp aspires to do. After decades in the coaching and teaching game, nothing could have prepared him for helping heal Uvalde, but it was something he wanted to do.
“I fell in love with the community there. It’s a great place to be, and it’s going to take some time, and it’s never going be the same, but it’s going to be better,” said Hemphill. " I just really felt I needed them. I needed to know what another level of love is, and another level of caring, and to hug a kid who just lost her sister or mom. I told them, ‘I am never going to feel the way you feel, but I just want to make sure you understand that I care about you.’”
With his unique connection and bond to both schools, Hemphill said he’s thrilled to be doing the coin toss before the Coyotes and Mustangs take the field.
“It’s going to be one of the greatest things ever. There’s some great moments in your life as an athlete and some non-athletic, but this ranks right up there,” said Hemphill.
About the KSAT Pigskin Classic
The second-annual KSAT Pigskin Classic will kick off Aug. 25 and 26 at San Antonio’s Alamodome and tickets are now on sale.
This year’s KSAT Pigskin Classic is even bigger than last year’s inaugural event, with four high school football games over two fun-filled days to kick off the Texas high school football season.