Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy have teamed up to help the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence through its Boren Mentoring Initiative to host the Oklahoma Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge.
The campaign began in 2008 as a friendly competition between mentoring advocates Tom Osborne of Nebraska and Bill Snyder of Kansas State and has grown to include 15 current or retired coaches from the Big 12 and Big Ten Conferences.
This year, the Big 12 has also endorsed the campaign, which began Aug. 1 and concludes Nov. 30.
Last year’s challenge generated 9,000 new volunteer mentors in participating states, and organizers have set a goal of 15,000 new mentors this year.
“As coaches, we have the opportunity to positively influence the lives of our athletes both on and off of the field,” Stoops said. “However, more and more youth are in need of a positive role model. The National Mentoring Partnership has identified 15 million children in our nation who are in need of caring and quality mentors.”
Added Gundy: “In an effort to help close this ‘mentoring gap,’ we are joining the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge to encourage our fans to become mentors to local youth in need of positive adult influence in their lives.”
The Boren Mentoring Initiative has launched a website at www.okcoacheschallenge.org where people can sign up to mentor. The website also offers information for participating mentoring organizations as well as Oklahoma coaches who would like to register to join in the campaign. The site includes ideas and materials for promoting the campaign and recruiting mentors in communities across the state.
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