Broncho Sports: UCO Quarterback Takes a Swing at Golf
Following his senior football season, UCO quarterback TJ Eckert took a swing at golf.
Former quarterback for the UCO Bronchos football team, TJ Eckert takes his skills to the golf course during the March 2017 tournament in Oklahoma City. (Provided/ UCO Photo Services).
Following his senior season as the Bronchos’ quarterback, TJ Eckert, decided to join the golf team.
“I went and talked to Coach Fosdick, who didn’t really have time to go out and get a recruiting class. He came on in June or July, so there was only six guys on the team. So I just asked him if I could walk on,” Eckert said.
Eckert not only brought with him the experience of leading a team, but some added age to the golf team, as well. “I am the only senior, so that’s something, but there is a certain amount of leadership you get from the quarterback position and I try to bring that to the team,” Eckert said.
Eckert ended his football career at UCO following the 2016 season. His two and a half years as a starter led to some of the best statistics in school history. Eckert is the all-time UCO leader in career passing, throwing for 6,279 yards. He has the most yards in a single game with 467. He has also notched a couple of big wins along the way.
“Last season we went into Pitt State and won. Pitt State usually has a big crowd that’s loud and raucous. We went out and scored on the first three drives and shut them up. That was fun,” Eckert said.
The two sports are vastly different from one another -football is a team sport that requires cohesion to be successful, but with golf you’re out there alone. “Football is definitely more of a team sport. A whole bunch of guys from different backgrounds and different stories competing for one goal,” Eckert said. “Then on golf we only have ten guys, so you get really close to all of them. I feel like I’ve brought an element of team sport to the team.”
Eckert was a two-sport star in high school, although golf was not one of them. He played football and baseball for the Bixby Spartans, but it was his success in summer tournaments that led him to asking for a walk-on position with Bronchos’ golf team. Despite all of his success, Eckert remembers where he comes from.
“My dad has only missed one game. He’s a police officer and it was to work the Terence Crutcher incident. My mom has never missed one. So, in five years my parents have missed one game collectively,” Eckert said, “I think your family plays a big part of who become and my parents have done a really good job of keeping me on the straight and narrow with morals and decision making.”
Eckert is learning valuable lessons that he can take to other aspects of his life. He is wrapping up his degree in mass communications and is hoping to be a sports broadcaster.
“You are having to balance sports, school and job. Being able to balance those things will really help me in my career,” Eckert said.
Eckert graduates in May and will leave behind quite the legacy in more than one sport.