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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Super fan, super announcer: Fort Worth attorney pays it back with enthusiasm

Borchardt Law Firm PLLC

1300 S. University Drive

Suite 515

Fort Worth 76107

817-529-2500

www.genolawyer.com/

When football returned to Texas Wesleyan University in 2017 after a hiatus of more than 75 years, no one was more excited than attorney Geno Borchardt.

And he’s more than happy to tell it to anyone who will listen – and lots of folks listen. Attending Texas Wesleyan, he wanted to be either an attorney or a sportswriter. The school has given him a chance to fulfill both those goals.

A 1986 graduate of Wesleyan, where he also ran cross country in 1983, he is the stadium announcer for Rams football games at Farrington Field.

Borchardt is also a local attorney with his own firm, the Borchardt Law Firm PLLC. He has a broad civil litigation practice, with a focus on representing victims of wrongdoing. After graduating from Wesleyan summa cum laude (4.0 GPA), he went on to graduate from Baylor School of Law cum laude (again, 4.0 GPA). He spent one year as a briefing attorney to the Texas Supreme Court and then returned to Fort Worth in 1990, where he has practiced law since.

Much of his practice is devoted to health care law, representing families and health care providers. Some of his notable cases and areas of practice include the tragic bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University in 1999, protecting special-needs students from violence at school, and winning a landmark case recognizing the rights of stillborn babies.

What does it mean to you to be announcing for your alma mater?

I am a first-generation college graduate, along with my six siblings who have all obtained degrees beyond high school. My parents were wise, hard-working, loving, wonderful folks, but paying for a college degree for them was going to be difficult.

As I finished high school in Texas and looked for a college that I could afford. Texas Wesleyan gave me enough scholarship money so that I could get a college degree. My life was changed forever thanks to Texas Wesleyan.

When I went to Texas Wesleyan, my goal was to either be a lawyer or a sportswriter. Once I became a lawyer and married the love of my life, Lindy (assistant district attorney for Wise and Jack counties), we had two wonderful sons, Grahme and Grayson. They both were active in sports (and football) at Fort Worth All Saints’ Episcopal School. I was the stadium announcer for football at All Saints’ for nine years. Both of my sons graduated from All Saints’, so my stadium announcing career was over – or so I thought.

When my alma mater asked me to be the stadium announcer, I was truly humbled. Being the announcer for my alma mater is a privilege and is a small way to give back.

Can you tell me about the booster club you created and the work it has done?

I know first-hand that a college degree changes your life. Once I accepted the role as announcer, head coach Joe Prud’homme asked a group of volunteers to help build the program. Before I could make that commitment, I had to know that Texas Wesleyan was doing the right things for the right reasons, and that there was a vision.

Coach Joe told me that changing young men’s lives was his vision and football was secondary. Hearing that, I signed on right away.

One idea was to recreate the Ram Club, an athletic booster club. It had existed in the past, and we wanted to resurrect it. The idea to rebuild the Ram Club has ties to Texas Christian University. Although I did not attend TCU, I was deeply involved in the Frog Club for over 15 years, even privileged to serve as the chairman of the Frog Club. TCU and Gary Patterson do it right in changing the lives of their athletes.

The Ram Club is committed to raising money for Texas Wesleyan athletes so that they compete for championships, achieve academic excellence, and improve their lives. While pursuing these lofty goals, we have lots of fun. For example, we have Ram Club luncheons on the Fridays before home games. This fall, we hope to celebrate the opening of a new restaurant next to the Texas Wesleyan campus, Ben’s Triple B, by holding our luncheons there.

Would you like to see Texas Wesleyan and TCU work together to promote both programs as both athletic departments offer something great?

As Texans, we love our football. With the resurrection of Ram football, we have a great opportunity to enjoy even more football in Fort Worth. I am a proud season-ticket holder of TCU football tickets of over 20 years, and I would love to see Texas Wesleyan and TCU coordinate with each other into the future. The cost of tickets to Texas Wesleyan games is incredibly affordable. We are so lucky in Fort Worth to have so many opportunities to enjoy great football.

Any special stories from the booth?

The resurrection of football at Texas Wesleyan has given rise to many great stories. One of those is the story of 22-year-old Colin Engelbert. Colin is a spotter in the booth with me, and he is incredibly talented. He never misses any of the action and often calls the penalties before the flags are thrown.

Colin was diagnosed to possibly be on the autism spectrum at the age of 5. He also has processing issues that made it hard for him to think. When he feels overwhelmed, he experiences pressure in his head. Attending school and socializing were difficult challenges for him. Colin’s family asked Texas Wesleyan (and me) if Colin could be a spotter in the booth. He has been a tremendous asset.

Colin’s mom, Julie Engelbert, said the following: “Colin has loved the relationships he has made. The whole experience has been awesome for him.”

Do you see a connection between sports and practicing law and has it helped you?

In most areas of life, whether it be football or practicing law, success requires dedication, commitment, and hard, hard work.

Are you going to return as the announcer again this year? Any additional sports?

I will be the announcer at Texas Wesleyan as long as they will have me. We are building something great from the ground up. Presently, I only announce the football games, but if I could make a living announcing sports, I would give it a great deal of consideration.

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