SFA & NFL Great Takes Number Out of Retirement
June 17, 2011
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A rarity in the world of athletics, at any level, has taken place at Stephen F. Austin during the offseason. Former Stephen F. Austin and NFL great Mark Moseley pulled his No. 10 out of retirement. For the first time since the early 80s when Moseley's No. 10 was retired, it will be worn by a Lumberjack football player.
"It was a great honor to know that Stephen F. Austin thought enough of my career there, and then what I did in the NFL to want to retire my number," said Moseley. "I take great pride in that. I hope that the number will carry with it the respect and integrity in how I tried to carry myself. "
One of the highest honors, and extremely rare opportunities, afforded an athlete is honoring their career by the retiring of a jersey number. Even more rare, is when that athlete honors the university by pulling his number out of retirement to allow someone else to wear it. That one act speaks to the standards of how Moseley tried to carry himself both on and off the field.
"I hope the young man that wears the number will understand that it is more than just a number," said Moseley. "There is a level of respect that goes with the number. He needs to be a leader on the team and an example for others. I take great pride in the opportunities that I had while at SFA as well as the opportunities I received later as a professional athlete and in business due to my time at SFA."
The Washington Redskins all-time leading scorer (1,207 points), Moseley became the only kicker to win the NFL's Most Valuable Player award in 1982. Known as the league's last straight-on kicker, Moseley was successful on 65 percent of his field goal attempts (300-of-457) and 94 percent of his extra-point attempts. Moseley concluded his career with 1,382 career points, led the NFL in scoring four times and was an all-pro selection.
But even with all the accolades on the field, it's the respect for the university and its tradition, and being a person of high character that is important to Moseley. It is for that reason that incoming freshman Joe Minden has been selected to be the first Lumberjack to wear No. 10 since it was retired. A highly touted quarterback prospect from Coppell, Minden understands the honor he has been granted.
"It means a lot to me that Mark would allow me to wear his number," said Minden. "He wanted to reactivate his number, and I'm honored to know that I was the first person that he and Coach (J.C.) Harper thought of to wear it.
"Mark was very successful in college and in his professional career. He has always lived his life with class and high moral standards. My faith, my family and school have always been a huge priority for me. I will try to live my life by those standards," added Minden.
The number 10 was Minden's number during his junior and senior season at Coppell. Despite the fact the number was retired, Minden was still coming to Nacogdoches to further his education and play football.
"I never planned on wearing the number," said Minden. "I knew it was Mark's number and that it was retired, so I understood that I wouldn't have the number. Then Coach Harper called me and told me I was going to be able to wear it. I can't thank Mark enough for this honor."
Officially, Moseley's jersey will remain retired, while his jersey number is activated.
"Activating number 10 only seems fitting with all the accomplishments that Mark has had both on and off the field," said Harper. "From now on we will honor Mark when a future Lumberjack represents him wearing the purple & white for the 'Jacks. Our hope is that whoever wears the number will know what Mark stands for. I can't think of a bigger way for SFA to honor Mark than to see No. 10 be active."
SFA fans will get their first opportunity to see the No. 10 on a Lumberjack uniform when SFA opens the 2011 season Thursday, Sept. 1, against McMurry in Nacogdoches. The game is slated to kick off at 6 p.m. from Homer Bryce Stadium.