Oklahoma tornadoes: Joe Castiglione, OU athletic personnel help out in Moore's Heatherwood neighborhood

A group of dozens of OU athletic personnel, from athletes to administrators, helped residents in the tornado-ravaged Heatherwood neighborhood. Their mission was largely manual labor, with some morale-boosting mixed in, too.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 25, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma assistant Jay Norvell, athletic director Joe Castiglione, football player Bronson Irwin and assistant Tim Kish helped out in the Heatherwood neighborhood of Moore on Saturday. Among the things found in the rubble was an OU flag. PHOTO PROVIDED BY OU SPORTS INFORMATION
Oklahoma assistant Jay Norvell, athletic director Joe Castiglione, football player Bronson Irwin and assistant Tim Kish helped out in the Heatherwood neighborhood of Moore on Saturday. Among the things found in the rubble was an OU flag. PHOTO PROVIDED BY OU SPORTS INFORMATION

— OU athletic director Joe Castiglione on Saturday missed his softball team's Super Regional game and his baseball team's Big 12 Tournament semifinal.

For good reason. He was needed elsewhere.

A group of dozens of OU athletic personnel, from athletes to administrators, helped residents in the tornado-ravaged Heatherwood neighborhood. Their mission was largely manual labor, with some morale-boosting mixed in, too.

“This is my home,” said offensive lineman Bronson Irwin. “This is my state. I always want to help people if they need help.”

Meaghan Brooks, director of community relations for OU's athletic department, spent Monday morning organizing efforts to help those in the Shawnee and Carney areas affected by the Sunday tornadoes.

Then came the EF5 that roared through Moore.

“These fans are our family,” Brooks said. “If we can keep up encouragement and morale … this is a statewide issue, and the state is our family.”

The Sooners sent out coaches and athletes earlier in the week. A variety of teams were involved in a variety of relief work. Sherri Coale and Whitney Hand walked through Moore neighborhoods Thursday.

Bob Stoops did a variety of work on his own, particularly in the Shawnee area.

And Saturday, a busload of Sooners got busy helping clean up. Among them were Irwin and quarterback Trevor Knight, and assistant coaches Jay Norvell and Tim Kish.

Brooks urged anyone that could use help to contact her at meaghanbrooks@ou.edu.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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