Johnson Foundation Honors Joe Jamail

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: July 3, 2007

Derrick Johnson HOUSTON – Former University of Texas great and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson and the “King of The Field/The Derrick Johnson Foundation” honored Joe Jamail with the 2007 King of the Field Community Excellence Award, at the 2nd Annual Men of Distinction Gala held at the Hobby Center.

“Derrick Johnson is a kind and humble young man,” Jamail said. “It’s a joy for me to see what he’s doing with his foundation. He’s a great credit to his family and a positive role model.”

Started in August of 2005, The Derrick Johnson Foundation was formed as a way of giving back to the community. Its mission is to provide opportunities and resources that will enable youth to achieve both in academics and in the community.

The honoree, Mr. Joseph Jamail Jr., is a well-noted alumni at from the University of Texas, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1950 and Juris Doctorate in Law in 1953.

Jamail has supported the University of Texas in academic and athletic endeavors. He’s a life member of the University of Texas Ex-Students Association and he was named one of the country’s top trial lawyers by most credible legal publications.

The University of Texas School of Law created “The Joesph D. Jamail Centennial Chair in Law and Advocacy”. He was the recipient of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association 1993 War Horse Award; 1993 Houston Texas Exes Award; 1996 UT School of Law Outstanding Alumnus Award; 1996 UT Distinguished Alumnus Award, Honorary member of the Order of Barristers, from the University of Texas and various other honors.

He has served the city of Houston and the University of Texas well, and because of his accomplishments and many acts of kindness, the University of Texas designated the Jessie Jones Hall at the Law School as “The Joesph D. Jamail Center for Legal Research.”

As a student athlete at the University of Texas, Derrick Johnson was dedicated to community service and loved visiting the Children’s Hospitals and volunteering at neighboring schools, as well as becoming a role model to inspiring youth in Central Texas.

Now entering his third season with the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson hopes to continue his success on the field as well being a member of the NFL’s fourth-ranked defensive unit.

The 2004 Butkus and Nagurski Award winner and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, was a 2005 first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. He was voted the Chiefs’ Rookie of the Year in 2005.

In addition to the semi-formal gala, the foundation held a Celebrity Bowling event at Jillians, to climax the three-day weekend.

Proceeds from the celebrity weekend will benefit the King of the Field/Derrick Johnson Foundation. Funds will go to Houston area charities including the Derrick Johnson Foundation Group Home and Kids Camp for underprivileged children.

Celebrities in attendance included former University of Texas teammates Brian Robinson (Minnesota Vikings), Selvin Young (Denver Broncos), and Matt Nordgren (Philadelphia Eagles), Tommie Harris (Chicago Bears), Stanford Routt (Oakland Raiders), Patrick Dendy (Green Bay Packers), Kendrell Bell (Kansas City Chiefs), NBA hoopster T.J. Ford (Toronto Raptors), and emcee Isiah Carey from Fox 26 News.

Current and former NFL players such as Vince Young (Tennessee Titans), Roy Williams (Detroit Lions), Reggie Bush (New Orleans Saints), Jim Brown (Cleveland Browns), Matt Leinhart (Arizona Cardinals), Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers), Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys), Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings), and baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, and others also donated items for the silent auctions.