Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

How Texas’ culture has led to its first 10-win season since 2018

Connor Steen
Texas Football coach Steve Sarkisian and players during The Eyes of Texas after a 31-24 win against Houston on Oct. 21, 2023.

For the first time since 2018, No. 7 Texas has won at least 10 football games in a season. The Longhorns are one win away from clinching a spot in the Big 12 title game.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian attributes his team’s success to its culture. In his first season as head coach, Texas was 5-7. Now, for the first time in his career as a head coach, Sarkisian has the chance to compete for a conference title.

Sarkisian has spoken at length about the team’s culture and the players’ love for each other.

“The first thing about culture (is that) culture is organic,” Sarkisian said. “It manifests itself with the relationships that you build. I think that there’s there’s things that we talk (about) in our culture that are of the utmost importance. … We have to live those things and then we have to have teachable moments along the way to celebrate the guys that are doing those things.”

Some of the important aspects of culture that Sarkisian mentioned are commitment, discipline, accountability, mental and physical toughness, love, vulnerability and transparency.

Ahead of Saturday’s final regular season game and senior day, the team’s culture is stronger than ever. Several players returned to Texas for the chance to win a Big 12 championship, and, with a win against Texas Tech, Texas will clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship game.

While Sarkisian did not recruit this group of seniors, they have bought into his culture and become leaders in the program.

“If you want to be a disciplined football team when you take the field each weekend, you have to be disciplined when you’re off the field,” Sarkisian said. “When we have a team meeting, and that meeting breaks I have the same few guys early on that would make sure the team room was clean. There were no Gatorade bottles, tape or trash, and those guys’ names were Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson. When (they) were gone, the running back room were the ones that cleaned up the team room. Now, when we break a team meeting, everybody looks around.”

Sarkisian placed emphasis on celebrating the small stuff off the field, which leads to bigger moments on the field. Celebrating small things like picking up trash may seem redundant, but Sarkisian said the constant discipline and reminders of responsibility come into play just as much on the field.

“Those are really big things to me because that means that’s the way we’re thinking all of the time,” Sarkisian said. “If we’re doing those little things, … I think those actions and that behavior leads to the big victories. It leads to first-and-goal on the five and your defense has to get four stops, it leads to third-and-12 backed up on the road and you convert a first down. I think it leads to those guys counting on one another relying on that because they’re doing the right things on a daily basis.”

Last year, Texas Tech upset Texas in overtime in Lubbock and handed it an unexpected early second loss of the year. The culture of the Texas football team will be put to the test one last time at home this Friday against a tough Texas Tech opponent.

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