Central Arkansas and Head Coach David Kuhn Continue Support for Mississippi State Softball Freshman Alex Wilcox
Yesterday, around 4:00 am, I received a message from Central Arkansas softball head coach David Kuhn. It was a response from him with a few details about their fundraiser and had his cell phone number in it. I had asked him a question regarding how he and his team was helping Mississippi State softball freshman Alex Wilcox.
He gave me the full rundown on how his team, his athletic department, his university, and the entirety of the Central Arkansas community was supporting Wilcox and her cause.
I ended up calling Coach Kuhn around noon. Mostly because I sleep later than 4:00 am (on most days). But also because I was meeting a friend for breakfast at IHOP and had to run some errands. Once I made it home and checked my messages, I noticed that he had already followed up and was eager to talk.
I haven’t had many conversations with head coaches from any college sport before, but I figured it might be a bit rude to keep him waiting. Especially given what we were discussing and how much help he has given to one of Mississippi State’s own.
Once I got him on the phone, David Kuhn’s energy was certainly there and he was invested in the conversation.
In fact, he was ecstatic to talk about how it all came together.
Earlier this season, David Kuhn and his team found out about Mississippi State’s “No One Fights Alone” campaign. As soon as he heard that MSU has a freshman battling the disease, Kuhn knew something had to be done.
That’s exactly what Kuhn and the entirety of Central Arkansas did in that moment. After making some calls between Central Arkansas’ contact with Adidas, members of his athletic department, and a few others around town, people came together and things started moving along.
Through careful workings within NCAA guidelines, the plan was developed to create special uniforms for the softball team, similar to the ones Mississippi State had made. The uniforms would then be auctioned off. Every single nickel and dime from that auction would then be donated to a fund for Alex Wilcox’s medical bills.
As it turns out, uncertainty arose as to whether or not the uniforms would be made on time.
Thankfully, they were, and through some creative delivery options that included dropping them off in Columbus, Mississippi, UCA wore the name Wilcox across all of their backs. And they were more than proud to do so.
How much did they raise?
Well, that part is still being determined. David Kuhn wasn’t totally sure on the number just yet. But it’s because they aren’t done just yet. Even though the auction was last week and has come and gone, money is still flowing in to support the fund that’ll be for Alex Wilcox’s medical bills.
A lot of that has to do with the fact that parents of Central Arkansas softball players are placing bids, winning the jerseys, and then are returning them so that they can be auctioned again.
The running total from all of that action so far? According to coach Kuhn yesterday, it was over $4,000. And they’re hoping to get even more in as they continue to get everything auctioned off. Hopefully multiple times.
Given that they made more than enough jerseys for all of their players and coaching staff, it certainly seems possible that they can do just that. It is also certain that they are determined to do as much as they can with this opportunity to help.
“This isn’t just a flash in the pan.”
Those are the exact words that David Kuhn told me yesterday. That came in regards to his and his team’s continued support of Alex. Central Arkansas will continue to wear teal throughout the year. Be it in the form of bows, ribbons, eye black, or whatever, the Bears will still have teal present to raise awareness and support Wilcox’s fight.
And as evidenced by Central Arkansas sharing and spreading news about Wilcox and the “No One Fights Alone” campaign, it’s clear that the entire university is behind this push.
Because their sharing of this isn’t just on their twitter account. It’s on facebook. And it isn’t just their athletics department that is making this news known. The University of Central Arkansas, as an entity, is raising awareness for all of this.
Of course it gives them good publicity. But their motives seem far purer than that. I get the impression that the Bears don’t want attention. They truly want to help.
And when Coach Kuhn got to meet Alex Wilcox back on March 21st, he was able to present her with one of the uniforms made to support her. It happened to be the one that he was wearing himself.
It’s incredible what David Kuhn and the Central Arkansas community has done.
They’ve helped raise awareness and funds for a Mississippi State softball player. They’ve given of their time, their energy, and their resources to help Alex Wilcox. The generosity and compassion they’ve shown is incredible.