Tillman jersey to be retired
The ASU football team will officially retire the No. 42 jersey of former Sun Devil Pat Tillman during halftime of the ASU-Washington State game at 5 p.m., Nov. 13, in Sun Devil Stadium. Tillman, a standout linebacker at ASU, was killed in the line of duty in April while serving with the Army Rangers in Afghanistan.
Tillman played with the Sun Devils from 1994 – 1997 and graduated summa cum laude from the W. P. Carey School of Business with a marketing degree in 1997.
After five years of playing professional football with the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman spurned a multimillion-dollar contract to join the Army with his brother Kevin, a former ASU baseball player.
Tillman was posthumously honored with the Silver Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart.
“When I ask the players to give examples of almost any characteristic, whatever the lesson is, Pat Tillman’s name always comes up,” says Dirk Koetter, ASU’s football coach. “He is off the charts in our respect. The fact that his name is going up in the stadium with the likes of Danny White, Whizzer White, Ron Pritchard, John Jefferson, I think that is a huge testament to his place in ASU football history, Arizona State and the whole university.”
Throughout the season, the Sun Devils have worn patches on their jerseys honoring Tillman. The Pac-10 conference also has renamed its Defensive Player of the Year Award after him.
“Everything that he did speaks for itself,” says ASU quarterback Andrew Walter. “Who am I to talk about somebody who did something that probably is the greatest thing I have ever heard? He gave away millions of dollars to go overseas and fight in the war. Nothing I could say could give any more credit to him. He got his degree in three years, with a great GPA, and was a great football player. I had a chance to meet him for five seconds – and hopefully I will remember those five seconds forever.”
The ASU team shop is selling a replica Tillman jersey, with all proceeds benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation (pattillmanfoundation.net), which promotes leadership and public service.
In cooperation with the Tillman family, ASU and the Arizona Cardinals have established the Pat Tillman Memorial Scholarship. For more information on the scholarship, write to: Lynda Lumpkin, P.O. Box 873208, Tempe, AZ 85287-3208.