Welcome to the 2020 football season. What a weird offseason it was for everyone. There was not a summer camp circuit for player to go showcase their talents at. In-person recruiting came to a screeching halt and the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected everyone.
While he's best known for sports broadcasting over the last 20 years on CBS, Fox and locally, Spencer Tillman is also a volleyball dad.
Daughter Bailey Tillman is the youngest of four daughters, who has tagged along with her two older sisters around the volleyball scene.
"I was eight-years old and my sister was trying out for the Houston Juniors," she said. "I was that little kid on an empty court just trying to hit the ball. I was serving over a regulation net and the coaches came over and said, you should play. That's how it started for me."
Tillman was the District 20-6A Defensive MVP as a junior. It's no surprise, however, having uber-athletic parents.
Spencer was a team captain for Oklahoma when the Sooners won the National Championship in 1985. He then went on to play eight years of NFL football, including five years with the Houston Oilers. Spencer played his other three years with the San Francisco 49ers and was on of their four captains during the franchise's second Super Bowl win. Her mom ran track and was on the Sooner pom-squad.
"My parents just tell me to trust the process, especially in recruiting," she said. "My dad was just telling me the other day about leading a successful team. He was talking about how great teams are conductive. The team is energized by each of its players trying to accomplish the same goal. You have to perform when the pressure is the greatest and know your worth inside the team."
Pretty good advice, right?
Bailey saw that first-hand when her sister Mir played for the FB Austin Bulldog team that reached the state finals in 2015.
"I felt like everyone was connected on and off the court," she said of that 2015 team. "They were the underdogs and didn't take anything for granted. It was so surreal watching them.