THE NAVIGATION TOOLS TO  THE CONTENT OF THE WEB SITE ARE AT THE TOP OF THIS SCREEN. THE SITES ARE  "QUE" , "FAN", "TLSN", "SPORTS", "ARTICLES", "ICONIC",  "MISSIONS", "LOST TOO SOON",  "SENTRY", AND "DONATE".

 

Greg Ploetz's Story

Please visit the Articles site and  click on "professional writers"  then click on Terry Frei to see two articles about Greg published in the  Denver Post.

 

 

 

Bobby Callison And Greg Ploetz- Bonded Friends For Life

 

Greg's story is now part of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. The link to the site is listed below.

http://concussionfoundation.org/story/greg-ploetz

 

 

 

 

Greg Ploetz Lithograph signed by 285 DKR players. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Richardson (Greg's roommate during college) wrote to his teammates the following letter:David Richardson, presents Deb Ploetz with the $14,000 check from the UT Lettermen Support Group in Arvada in 2014. 

DEAR HORNS,


MOST OF YOU KNOW I REPRESENTED LSG AND DELIVERED THE CHECK FOR $14,000 TO GREG PLOETZ.  BY NOW, MOST OF YOU HAVE READ THE ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TERRY FREI FOR THE DENVER POST CONCERNING GREG’S SITUATION AND THE POSITIVE IMPORTANT ROLE THAT MEDICINAL MARIJUANA HAS PLAYED IN GREG’S LIFE. 
 
ALL THE TEXAS NURSING HOMES WOULD NOT TAKE CARE OF GREG UNLESS THEY COULD KEEP HIM MEDICATED AND CALM. DEB WAS AT HER WITS END UNTIL SHE FOUND THIS PLACE IN COLORADO AND HEARD ABOUT THE MARIJUANA TREATMENT.  
 
WHAT AN EYE OPENER IT WAS FOR ME AS AN OUTREACH MINISTER FOR VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH.  NOT THAT I APPROVE OF IT IN THE RECREATIONAL SENSE BUT IT DOES HAVE SOME VALUE MEDICALLY.  AFTER ALL, WHERE DID WE FIRST GET OUR MEDICINES?  FROM PLANTS.
 
OVER ALL IT WAS A VERY GOOD TRIP.  GREG IS IN A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, THE MOUNTAINS ARE ONLY ABOUT 10 TO 15 MILES FROM HIM.  HE CAN GO OUT IN THE BACK YARD AND ENJOY THE BEAUTY.  THERE WAS STILL SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS.  HIS NURSING FACILITY IS MORE LIKE A HOME THAN CARE INSTITUTION.  THE WORKERS ARE NICE, AND THEY ARE GENUINELY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR PATIENTS.  
 
WHEN GREG FIRST ARRIVED HE WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE AT THE NURSING FACILITY BUT NOW WITH THE HELP OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA HE HAS CALMED DOWN AND HIS ANGER HAS SUBSIDED.


 
I WAS HIS ROOMMATE, BUT GREG DOES NOT KNOW ME.  HE KNOWS DEB AND THEIR DOG BUTTER.
GREG KNOWS HE IS NOT AT HOME BUT HE WANTS TO BE.  THIS FRUSTRATES HIM AND HE CAN STILL GET AGITATED VERY QUICKLY.  HE GOT UPSET WITH ME WHEN I TOOK A PICTURE OFF THE WALL TO ASK HIM ABOUT IT.  HE LOVES HIS ART; I ASKED HIM ABOUT THE ARTWORK HANGING IN HIS ROOM AND HIS EYES LIT UP AND HE EVEN SMILED.  HE LIKES TO WALK OR PACE.  HE DOESN'T TALK MUCH, JUST MAKES SOUNDS. DEB SAID THAT SOMETIMES AFTER SHE HAS GIVEN HIM HIS DRUGS HE CAN PUT A SENTENCE TOGETHER.
 
IT'S VERY HARD FOR DEB TO GET HIM TO DO ANYTHING.   SHE HAS TO MANIPULATE HIM AND THIS IS VERY HARD ON HER; SEEING HER HUSBAND IN SUCH A STATE.  HE HAS LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT AND JUST DOESN'T LOOK THE SAME.  THE DRUGS HAVE GIVEN HIM AN APPETITE AGAIN SO MAYBE HE WILL START GAINING THE WEIGHT BACK.  
DEB ADMINISTERS HIS MEDICINE TO HIM IN THE MORNING AND AGAIN IN THE EVENING.  SHE HAS A LICENSE TO BUY AND TO ADMINISTER THE “DRUG”  THE NURSING HOME EMPLOYEES ARE EXCITED ABOUT HOW THE “DRUGS” HAVE HELPED GREG, AND THEY HOPE  BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER THE DRUG TO THEIR PATIENTS IN THE FUTURE.  THERE IS A TOTAL OF 10 MEN WHO RESIDE IN THE HOME.  
 
HER LIFE IS BETTER, BUT NEEDLESS TO SAY HER SITUATION IS STILL VERY DIFFICULT.  FROM MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH MY DAD WHO HAD ALZHEIMER’S, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS IS HARDER ON THE CAREGIVER THAN THE PATIENT, BUT THE LONGHORN FAMILY HAS COME THROUGH AND MITIGATED A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION.   
PLEASE KEEP GREG AND DEBRA IN YOUR PRAYERS.
 
I WAS HONORED TO DELIVER OUR HEART FELT DONATION TO DEB.   DEBRA AND TERRY FREI WERE OVERWHELMED WITH OUR OUTREACH. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION PLEASE CONTACT ME.
 
–DAVID RICHARDSON

A total of $25,000 was raised by teammates on two fund drives

 

GREG PASSED AWAY BUT HIS LEGACY LIVES ON- By Billy Dale.

THE ROAD THAT GREG AND DEB PLOETZ TRAVELED SINCE GREG WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MIXED DEMENTIA IN 2009 IS A REFLECTION OF THE STRUGGLES THAT MANY OF OUR TEAMMATES AND THEIR FAMILIES HAVE EXPERIENCED WITH THIS DREADED DISEASE.

AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH DEMENTIA, GREG DECIDED TO PAINT A TRIBUTE TO HIS TEAMMATES. THE COMPLETION OF THIS PAINTING IS A STORY OF HIS HEART HOLDING ON WHILE HIS MENTAL CAPABILITIES AND HAND-EYE COORDINATION DETERIORATED. THIS PAINTING WAS COMPLETED IN 2010, AND IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HE WAS STRUGGLING WITH DETAILS. HOWEVER, HIS EFFORTS WERE NOT ABOUT ART; THEY WERE ABOUT THE HUMAN SPIRIT WINNING BATTLES AGAINST THIS AGGRESSIVE OPPONENT. THIS PAINTING IS A SPECIAL AND PERSONAL GIFT FROM GREG PLOETZ TO HIS TEAMMATES--A VICTORY OF THE HEART OVER THE MIND.

GREG'S HEART WAS MY  INSPIRATION TO TACKLE A PROJECT THAT WILL BE TOUGH TO COMPLETE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF COACH DARRELL K. ROYAL’S PLAYERS. THE GOAL IS TO HAVE THE PAINTING SIGNED BY 500 DKR PLAYERS AND SUPPORT STAFF. IF THE GOAL IS ACCOMPLISHED, IT WILL BE THE ONLY AUTOGRAPH RELATED ITEM WITH THIS MANY SIGNATURES OF DKR’S PLAYERS IN EXISTENCE. THERE ARE 285 AUTOGRAPHS TO DATE.  THESE PLAYER DELIVERED 3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS AND 11 SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS. 

THE LITHOGRAPH WILL BE AUCTIONED IN 2019 WITH ALL PROCEEDS DISTRIBUTED TO QUALIFYING LONGHORNS IN NEED OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT. 

MAY GOD BLESS GREG, HIS FAMILY AND ALL OF OUR TEAMMATES AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO HAVE SUFFERED THROUGH TO THE END WITH THIS HORRENDOUS DISEASE.

Dr. Mark Akin.JPG

Dr. Mark Akin and Billy Dale with Greg's Lithograph

Greg Ploetz finished this painting after his health problems were in full swing. Former teammate Billy Dale has gathered signatures of 285 DKR players  from the Darrell Royal era on the lithograph. 

 

 

 

Greg Ploetz contributions to Longhorn traditions represents  a portal to the past that reminds Longhorn fans that heritage shapes the present and empowers the future.