Menu

Teaming up again​

Buffalo Bills star Jerry Hughes ’10 made the first of what will be an annual $15,000 donation to support his former teammate Joseph Turner ’10, who recently took over head coaching duties at Fort Worth’s historic North Side High School.

 

Joseph Turner '10 (left) is head coach of Fort Worth Northside High School, which received a $15,000 donation from Buffalo Bills star Jerry Hughes '10. The two were teammates on the TCU team that was first to go to a BCS bowl game. (Photo by Glen E. Ellman)

Teaming up again​

Buffalo Bills star Jerry Hughes ’10 made the first of what will be an annual $15,000 donation to support his former teammate Joseph Turner ’10, who recently took over head coaching duties at Fort Worth’s historic North Side High School.

 

The last time Jerry Hughes ’10 and Joseph Turner ’10 took the football field as teammates, they were members of TCU’s original Fiesta Bowl BCS-busters. But their camaraderie did not wither after graduation.

Hughes, a Buffalo Bills defensive end, returned to Fort Worth in July to donate $15,000 to North Side High School’s football program. He promised Turner, who took the reins as the school’s head football coach in June, that the gift would become annual.

An inspired Turner told an audience of more than 100 gathered to celebrate that he considers Hughes to be his “brother” and explained that the donation would be a boon for all of the school’s student-athletes. The first planned purchases will upgrade the school’s aging weight room equipment. He also plans to buy practice supplies and uniform gear, such as cleats and gloves.

Hughes, who makes his offseason home in Houston, said he has always “been on the same page” as Turner as far as being an ambassador for the power of education. “I always wanted to give back, and now that I have the financial means, I can do so,” he said.

Turner spent the last two school years as a special education inclusion teacher and an assistant football coach for the North Side Steers. Principal Tony Martinez ’83 appointed the former Horned Frog running back to the head coaching job in part because his athletes advocated for him.

The TCU-North Side connection has deep roots. Former Frog football coach Jim Shofner ’60, who like Hughes was a first-round NFL draft pick, was a star player for both schools. So was Charlie Conway ’43, a halfback on TCU’s 1941 Orange Bowl team who later served as president of the Frog Club.

“I’m happy to keep the tradition alive,” Turner said. He invited Frog fans to come watch the Steers play in the upcoming season. “I want North Side High School to be a small TCU, to be built on the same rules and guidelines that TCU has for its program,” he said. “Academics and the chemistry around the community.”

Hughes stayed long after the event to take pictures and talk with almost everyone in attendance. North Side athletes can benefit from the support and encouragement: the school hasn’t reached the playoffs since 1979.

Hughes said he believes Turner can lead a revival: “You’re not going to find a man more passionate about what he does.”