When Demarcus Lawrence of the Dallas Cowboys found out he was headed to the National Football League Pro Bowl, he wanted one person in particular in the stands for the game.
That fan is Butler Associate Head Coach Steve Braet, who has coached at Butler for nearly 40 years and was Lawrence's position coach during his time at Butler from 2010-2011.
Every player in the Pro Bowl was asked to invite a coach who had made a significant contribution to them as a player and a person, as well as the game of football.
Lawrence, who transferred to Boise State after playing at Butler, chose Braet.
"Demarcus said I was the first coach he thought of," Braet said. "It just left me speechless and it made me realize that as a coach, you do have an impact on your players. I'm very excited."
Braet and his wife, Dana, flew to Orlando on Friday morning. They will attend a reception Friday evening, a breakfast event on Saturday and then a tailgate party on Sunday afternoon. In addition, Braet will be on the field for pre-game warmups Sunday evening.
Kickoff for the Pro Bowl is at 2:00 p.m. CST and will be televised on ESPN.
In his fourth season with Dallas, Lawrence finished tied for second overall in the NFL with a career-high 14.5 sacks. He started all 16 games this season at defensive end for the Cowboys while making 58 tackles and forcing four fumbles. Lawrence becomes the first Grizzly to be selected to play in the NFL Pro Bowl since 2004, when Rudi Johnson (1998-99 at Butler) made the AFC squad with the Cincinnati Bengals.