UNI head football coach Mark Farley surprises Cedar Heights 4th Graders

UNI head football coach Mark Farley surprises Cedar Heights 4th Graders

Fourth graders in Mrs. Brown’s class at Cedar Heights Elementary School in Cedar Falls received an exciting visit from UNI head football coach Mark Farley, along with student-athletes Tristan Roper and Sergio Morancy.

The surprise appearance was in honor of one special student, Jack, a devoted fan of UNI Panthers. Jack's enthusiasm for UNI football has been unwavering since attending his first game last fall. "He couldn’t stop talking about the UNI Panthers!" shared Mrs. Brown. "He already knows which UNI football games he'll attend this coming fall."

Kim Miller, a field experience coordinator who works with UNI teaching majors, found out Jack's desire to meet Coach Farley. Jack expressed to her that Coach Farley was "the smartest football coach there is," and he would really like to meet him.  This prompted her to reach out in hopes to arrange the visit, to which Coach Farley was glad to accommodate.

Tuesday, April 16 became known as "National UNI Football Day" within Jack's classroom. While students were encouraged to wear purple and gold, Jack had no idea the Panthers would be coming.

Coach Farley shared an inspiring message with the students: "I was always encouraged by my teachers to pursue my dreams. Whatever you want to be, go for it." He emphasized the importance of setting a positive example: "People notice when you do good things. Sometimes, you don’t even know you’re being watched. If they see you doing good things, good things will come your way."

The entire class was able to enjoy the special visit along with Jack. Students had an opportunity to ask Coach Farley and the players questions and take photos, leaving a lasting impression.

Coach Farley and student-athletes meet Jack at Cedar Heights Elementary