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Longhorn letterman Octavious Bishop joins Texas football support staff


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Charlie Strong tabs Octavious Bishop for newly-created position of Director of Student Leadership/Personal Development.

 

Press release from University of Texas Athletics.

 

Austin -- Octavious Bishop, who helped pave the way for Ricky Williams’ Heisman Trophy campaign as the Longhorns’ starting left tackle in 1998, has joined the Texas football staff as Director of Student Leadership/Personal Development, head coach Charlie Strong announced on Friday. He will begin his duties at Texas on June 1.

 

“Having the opportunity to work at The University of Texas has always been a dream,” Bishop said. “Being able to come back and share what I’ve learned over the years is truly humbling.

 

“Coach Strong and his staff are passionate about the players, and it’s easy to discern their genuine desire to see them succeed on and off the field. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Coach Strong and love that he is a genuine straight shooter. His plan to help his players with life after football is transformative. The student-athletes in his program will leave the 40 Acres as better men.”

 

In his role, Bishop will work with Strong and the football staff to provide strategy and implementation of programs to support student-athlete development. Among the program’s goals and objectives will be personal growth, character enhancement, leadership assessment and development, life skills and career preparation.

 

“I had an unbelievable conversation with Octavious about what we were looking for in this position and knew right away that he was the man for the job,” Strong said. “He’s an engaging and energetic person who has a ton of experience working with personal development and has gained so much knowledge in handling all aspects of student-athletes’ lives. I just really loved his passion and all of the ideas he was bringing to the table. On top of that, he’s a Longhorn letterman who overcame a lot of obstacles in his own life. I’m so excited to have him joining our staff.”

 

Since his time as a Texas student-athlete, Bishop has managed a wide range of roles in a career that has focused on the academic, physical wellbeing and mental health needs of student-athletes. He has additionally developed relationships with parents, coaches, academic advisors and athletic trainers.

 

A four-year letterman (1995-98) and three-year starter at left tackle for the Longhorns, Bishop was a key part of the offensive line that cleared the way for Williams to rush for UT records of 1,893 yards and 25 TDs in 1997. He was clearing lanes again for Williams in 1998, as the eventual Heisman Trophy winner broke those same records with 2,124 yards and 27 TDs, while becoming the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher. Bishop was a part of Texas teams that claimed the final Southwest Conference title in 1995 and the first-ever Big 12 Championship in 1996. In Bishop’s final year, Mack Brown’s first at Texas, the Longhorns went 9-3 and won the Cotton Bowl.

 

“My roots began here at UT,” Bishop added. “Playing football for the Longhorns was an amazing experience, but having two degrees from Texas is what I’m most proud of. That has been significant in the pursuit of my dreams.”

 

Bishop spent time in NFL camps on free agent contracts with the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. He played in NFL Europe in 2000 before a serious leg injury during his time with the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL ended his professional football career. After retiring from football, he returned to UT and completed his bachelor’s degree in social work in 2001. He went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from Texas in 2008. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at Walden University-Minnesota.

 

Over the past several years, Bishop has worn many hats and gained valuable experience in a number of areas that will be vital in his role with the Longhorn football program. While he was working on his master’s, he served as a mentor and tutor in the UT football academic department. He also was an intern for Crossroads Counseling Associates, dealing with marriage, family and addiction counseling.

 

A native of Houston and graduate of Westfield High School, Bishop has long been an advocate of the mental health and educational needs of at-risk students. From 2008-09 he was the Communities in Schools of Central Texas XY-Zone Coordinator, working with at-risk populations at five Austin area high schools as Male Involvement Program Coordinator. 

 

“Many of the student-athletes who will attend The University of Texas come from backgrounds similar to my own,” Bishop said. “I have a unique perspective, as a former player and student, that many of them will share. The relationships I’ve established outside of football have played a profound role in my professional and personal development.”

 

Since 2009, he has worked with the Neurosensory Centers of Austin/V5 Sports Science, assessing the educational, physical and personal growth in the mission to prepare the complete athlete. Bishop helped manage and evaluate the mental health of patients who ranged from high school and college to professionals. From 2012-16, Bishop also was an adjunct professor of psychology at Austin Community College.

 

Bishop and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son, Anderson, and daughter, Tatum Louise.

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