July 24, 2023

Clint Killough, BBA ’15Clint Killough, BBA ’15

As the head coach of the UIW football program, I consider it an honor to lead young men who are experiencing things I experienced as a Cardinal student-athlete. It’s a huge responsibility, and it isn’t one that I take lightly. Fortunately, having spent countless days in Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium and having firsthand experience living out the UIW Mission and core values as a student, I feel well-prepared to help the 2023 UIW football student-athletes become concerned and enlightened citizens.

The root of the UIW Mission is service. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word came here to serve and to help, and I’ve always kept that as central to who I want to be as a leader. As we get ready for Fall Camp, I’ve been thinking back to some specific experiences that helped mold my leadership mentality.

There were the days when Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, came and worked with the football program when I was a player. She’d split us up into groups of six or eight, and we would converse about different topics. Sometimes they were spiritual topics and sometimes they were topics about our everyday life, but whatever it was, it was important to be able to communicate and relate with people from different walks of life.

Another experience involving servant leadership that I am grateful for is with a former teammate. Eric Castillo, a defensive back on our 2013 team, has a foundation called A Walk In My Shoes. He takes shoes and gives them to people who need new shoes. Even as a college student, I had the opportunity to help him live out the UIW Mission. Now, I want to teach our student-athletes how to integrate service and the UIW Mission into their everyday lives.

First and foremost, I focus on repetition. I believe repetition is king, especially when you’re trying to implement a mission statement for a university into a person and the way they live their life. Every day, we talk about winning with intention and having a purpose behind doing what we’re doing. We talk about intentional detail, intentional effort, intentional love and intentional trust.

Two things we’ve done a great job with are focusing on intentional love and intentional trust. In today’s college football landscape, change can happen a lot, from coaching changes to transfers. When there are a lot of new guys that come into our team, we want them to know we’re welcoming them into a family.

How do we create that family? With intentional love. Intentional love is doing something out of the ordinary or going out of your way to show someone you care. And what comes out of that intentional love is intentional trust. These are daily routines. This is how we talk to our teammates and how we as coaches communicate with each other.

Along with being intentional towards others in our program, we talk about being intentional in our own personal lives. When we’re talking about mind, body and spirit, the best way to take care of ourselves is thinking about how we approach our daily lives, from meetings to lifting weights to studying. It’s a daily routine and learning how to be intentional in all of it is part of the experience of being a UIW football student-athlete.