Q&A with DeVos Alum: Greg Austin
Greg Austin was an exceptional member of the 2009 DeVos graduating class. He has cultivated various experiences as a student-athlete and in the DeVos program to motivate his players. After completing the DeVos program, Greg spent time as an event manager at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Shortly after, he realized his passion for coaching, which led him to the University of Oregon where he served as an intern in 2010 and offensive graduate assistant during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Prior to his return to UCF, he spent three years as the Assistant Offensive Line Coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Greg is now the Offensive Line Coach for the UCF football team and continues to make DeVos proud of his accomplishments.
Position: Offensive Line Coach, UCF
Hometown: Cypress, Texas
Undergraduate College: Nebraska
DeVos Graduating Class: 2009
Fun Fact: I was the fifth true freshman in school history to appear on the Nebraska offensive line.
What have you learned from DeVos that has had the biggest impact in your career working in sports? Why?
I have learned that sport gives us the opportunity to impact and change norms in society through our influence. DeVos opened my eyes to understand the greater impact sport has on mainstream society. As a football coach, I have the opportunity to utilize sport and create a sphere of influence for the man to the right and left. I call it the ministry of football, which allows me to teach my players about being a man. Sport is so much more than touchdowns and football games. It allowed me to see the bigger picture.
What legacy would you like to leave?
I am a proud father of three girls. I want my legacy to reflect what a man of leadership is. I want to be the example to my family that my father was to me and his family. I want it to show high character, discipline and good influence. I want my daughters to see a great visionary and that not only did I showcase vision but I also followed the vision. A lot of people can see but do not have vision.
What brought you to DeVos?
The leadership and vision of others but more specifically Marcus Sedberry (DeVos Class of 2008). After my career at Nebraska, I began working at State Farm, and at the time, believed that working in insurance was the career for me. One day Marcus called and spoke highly of the program. I heeded his advice and did more research on my own. I immediately noticed the program was bigger than the degree. The Tides Reports caught my attention along with the efforts of Dr. Lapchick and Rich DeVos. Their impact on society really drew me in, and from there, I knew it was bigger than me.
Who has been instrumental in helping you develop throughout your career?
There are a number of people who have been instrumental throughout my career. First would be the support from my wife and family. Then the list goes on between the teachers/professors, coaches, mentors, pastors and friends.
What’s it like being back at UCF in your current role?
It is very unique. While working at the Wide World of Sports, I realized how much I missed the game of football. Toward the end of my internship, there was an opening with UCF football. Dr. Lapchick was pushing for me to get it as I was too. Unfortunately I did not get the position, but it led to my first coaching job at a Junior College in Minnesota. Looking back over my experiences, the opportunity to be back is a dream come true.
How has the DeVos program gotten you where you are today?
The DeVos program aided me in understanding every situation is what you make it. DeVos should not end after you graduate. I brought the high value on community with me into my coaching career. The impact Hope For Stanley had on me was important, and I carried those values with me to Oregon where I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters while coaching. Things learned and experienced in DeVos should not deviate after you graduate. The program is made for changing the world around you. I am working to not only have a better life but to better others through the power of sport.