Entering Arizona State, Tillman told coaches he wasn’t going to redshirt. He planned to graduate in four years because he had other things to do.
Arizona State University recognized Pat’s potential both in classroom and on field with a scholarship to play for the Sun Devils. What Pat lacked in physical size he more than made up for in intensity as linebacker. He led ASU to the 1997 Rose Bowl after an undefeated season, earned three consecutive selections to the Pac-10 All-Academic Football Team, a 1st team Academic All-American honor, as well as the NCAA’s Post-Graduate Scholarship for academic and athletic excellence. Between games, Pat earned a B.S. in Marketing, graduating Summa Cum Laude from ASU’s prestigious W.P. Carey School of Business, in three and a half years.
Pat’s NFL success did not go to his head or break his principles. He still drove to games in the same beat up truck he had in college. He had no cell-phone. Instead he chose to read voraciously and develop, debate, and discuss his ideas with eager listeners, family and friends. He made your passion his passion. In the off-season he challenged himself physically with marathons and half-Ironman triathlons while pursuing a Master’s degree in history from his alma mater. He volunteered with Boys and Girls Clubs, the March of Dimes, and read and talked to students in schools across the Phoenix Valley.
The day after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Pat told a reporter, “At times like this you stop and think about just how good we have it, what kind of system we live in, and the freedoms we are allowed. A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars and I really haven’t done a damn thing.”
In the spring of 2002, Pat married his high school love, Marie, and upon his return from their honeymoon, announced to the Cardinals he had decided to place his NFL career on hold to enlist in the U.S. Army with his brother, Kevin. The decision shocked many and garnered national media attention despite his refusal to speak publicly about the choice.
“Pat knew his purpose in life,” Dave McGinnis, former Arizona Cardinals head-coach said. “He proudly walked away from a career in football to a greater calling.”
Pat and Kevin joined the U.S. Army that July, committing to a three-year term. They were assigned to the second battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. They served tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004. On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged, canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan. His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide. – http://pattillmanfoundation.org/
CrossFit Football Hero WOD
7 Rounds for Time of:
7 Deadlifts 315/225
1 Full Gasser
rest 45 sec Between Rounds
Gasser: Sprint to the opposite sideline and back to complete one rep. The width of a football field is 53 1/3 yards.
We will have cones setup 53yds apart. You will run the width of a football field(53 yards) 4x or 212 yards.
Catering will be provided by Orange Olive, owned by 480 members/The Forrest’s.
Friends and family are welcome! Come grab a breakfast burrito and a beer!