Sports

Former Gator Thaddeus Bullard unveils school named after him


Thaddeus Bullard, better known as WWE’s Titus O’Neil, spends much of his time trying to help the youth of Tampa Bay now that his in-ring appearances have slowed down. On Thursday, Hillsborough County Public Schools unveiled the Thaddeus M. Bullard Academy at Sligh Middle Magnet School in recognition of the wrestler’s commitment to the community.

“This is not about me,” Bullard said. “This has never been about me and never will be. It’s about kids that are like me and are told, ‘it can never be done.’”

WWE honored Bullard’s charity work last year by giving O’Neil the Warrior Award, but he told crowds that the school bearing his name was the greatest honor of his life, according to WFLA. He started the Bullard Family Foundation in 2018 and has helped transform the school since.

Bullard played in 44 regular-season games with Florida in the late 1990s, racking up 56 career tackles and six sacks. His charity work goes back to his time in Gainesville as he was awarded the Goodwill Gator Award in the spring of 1998 for his community service efforts. He was elected Student Body Vice President in April 2000.

After leaving Florida, Bullard played in the Arena Football League from 2003 to 2007. His wrestling career started two years after his football career ended in 2009 when he signed a developmental contract with WWE.

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