(UNITE) - Former NFL quarterback Tim Couch will flip the coin to get things started at the third annual Rockcastle County UNITE Bowl football game Friday, September 19.
The Rockets play host to the Bobcats from Bell County High School in this year’s “Tackling Drugs: Saving Communities” match-up, set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
Coordinated by the Rockcastle County UNITE Coalition, the UNITE Bowl features a variety of activities to raise awareness about substance abuse issues and enlist support for drug education and treatment efforts.
“We are so excited to have someone of Tim’s caliber agree to participate in the UNITE Bowl program,” said Nancy Hale, a coalition officer. “He has been an inspiration to football fans since his days at Leslie County High School, where he participated in the DARE program and spoke on the danger of substance abuse to younger students.”
“I am glad to be back in Kentucky and able to support such a worthy cause,” Couch said. “Efforts by citizens in southern and eastern Kentucky to prevent substance abuse and to help those with addictions are drawing national attention. I feel honored to be able to become a part of the UNITE team.”
“I truly love this area, but hate to see what drugs are doing to families and communities. It is so important to reach out to youth, to let them know drugs are not the answer,” Couch continued. “Hopefully the UNITE Bowl will encourage more people to step forward and make a difference by becoming involved with their local UNITE coalition.”
The 31-year-old Hyden native, who now resides in Lexington, set a number of national high school records as a prep quarterback for the Leslie County Eagles, and received numerous accolades for his basketball prowess.
Named Kentucky’s “Mr. Football” in 1995, Couch was highly recruited before deciding to play for the University of Kentucky. He piloted the Wildcats’ “Air Raid” offense to national respectability as a sophomore, then led his team to a spot in the Outback Bowl in a seven-win 1998 season.
Couch’s efforts resulted in his being named SEC Player of the Year and a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Foregoing his senior season, Couch was the number one overall selection in the 1999 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.
He made his first professional start in the second game of his rookie year and proceeded to notch rookie records for passing completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns. Couch would start 59 games during his five-year tenure with the Browns, including leading his team to a playoff appearance in 2002.