AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Texas Longhorns linebacker Derrick Johnson is donating thousands of dollars to upgrade school libraries across Austin, according to a press release.
The release says Oak Springs Elementary in east Austin will be the first AISD school getting a donation, receiving nearly $58,000. The money will provide a “multi-functional space for students to read and learn. Flexible furniture, bookshelves, and flooring will be donated along with books in an effort to update the current collection and better reflect the diverse student population.”
“My mom was a school teacher and growing up she imprinted on me at a young age the importance of education. Defend the Dream Foundation has become my passion and I’m so honored to help equip the leaders of tomorrow with the tools they need to build the future they deserve,” Johnson said in the release. “This foundation has so much to offer and I’m thrilled to use my platform to promote a cause so near and dear to my heart.”
Johnson spent 13 of his 14 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He partnered with Kansas City public schools on a similar initiative in 2012. His foundation added “Discovery Dens” at 16 local elementary schools and donated over 20,000 children’s books to those schools, the release says.
The former Longhorns linebacker was a force on the football field. During his time at UT, Johnson earned the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the Nation’s top defensive player, the Butkus Award for being the Nation’s top linebacker and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Johnson was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In Kansas City, Johnson went to four Pro Bowls and retired as the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler in franchise history.
The Waco native moved to Austin in 2019 at the end of his playing career.