This takes bring your child to work to an entirely new level!
Chris Vaughn is a veteran coach with nearly two decades of college coaching under his belt, the Dallas Cowboys report. He got his start as a linebacker at Murray State where he was a star athlete, winning Ohio Valley Conference titles in 1995 and 1996. The Tallahassee, Florida native then began his coaching career in 2000 at Tulsa before coaching for eight years at Arkansas and serving as the director of on-campus recruiting. He has coached at Ole Miss and Memphis before spending two seasons coaching at the University of Texas in Austin. In 2017 he joined the Dallas Cowboys as their southeast area scout and was promoted to assistant director of college scouting last year where he was responsible for working with Cowboys executives on making final decisions on future talent for the Cowboys roster.
While Vaughn has been involved in drafting dozens of athletes over the years, this year was different, his son, Chris Vaughn II aka Deuce, a star running back out of Kansas State, was entering the draft. In his 3 years at Kansas State, Deuce has led the Football Bowl Subdivision in all-purpose yards with 1,936. He’s run for 3,604 yards total with 34 touchdowns and 1,280 yards receiving. According to ESPN, in the weeks leading up to the draft, Vaughn was intentional about not writing a report on his son, even leaving the Cowboys meetings when Deuce was discussed so he could remain impartial. On draft day, Vaughn began heading up the team’s undrafted free agent process so he could stay out of the draft room as he hoped for the best for his son.
Meanwhile, Deuce was in Austin, Texas surrounded by 50-60 family and friends, waiting in anticipation to see if he would be drafted. Vaughn was busy when he got a call from his son, worried with emotions about not being selected yet. He offered him some encouragement, hyping him up and being there for him as a father, not a scout, then he headed back to work.
When he returned to the draft room, he was a little confused when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asked him to turn in the team’s card for its sixth-round draft pick. The picks are automated now so there are no more cards and the ask didn’t make sense. When Vaughn’s co-workers began standing up and Jones tossed him a napkin as if it was the card, it all began to make sense. The team was selecting his son Deuce, No. 212 overall. An unprecedented moment, Vaughn was given the honor of making the call, visibly choked up as he called his son back.
“Look here, man, do you want to come to work with me next week?,” Vaughn asked Deuce as he choked back tears.
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” his son responded.
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The room erupted in applause as Vaughn began hugging his colleagues and Jones took the phone to congratulate Deuce himself. In the 30 drafts Jones has presided over, he said this was by far the most special.
“I’ve never had an experience like that in the draft room. Ever,” said Jones.
“In 30 years of this league, I’ve never seen anything like that. That was a very special moment,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy added.
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Apparently the decision was made when Vaughn went to take the previous call with his son. It was still up in the air, but Jones, McCarthy, executive VP Stephen Jones, and VP of player personnel Will McClay ultimately decided that Deuce was the best fit for the team.
“For me, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been involved in. Just to have a guy that we value so much as an employee and the work that he does, and then to have so much positive be said about his son and then to watch the tape and see just how impactful he will be on the field, then have that moment to share that, because it’s all about family. When you talk about the Cowboys, you talk about football, you talk everything else, but you talk about family,” said McClay.
Deuce said the moment is surreal because he never asked his Dad if the Cowboys were an option. He wanted whatever happened to be natural and when he finally saw the video of his father’s call to him, he too got emotional all over again, calling it a “tearjerker.”
“I wanted it to happen organically. I wanted everything to fall into place as if it would. And over the past two weeks, the biggest thing we kind of echoed to each other is that I just needed a chance. It didn’t matter what round. It didn’t matter exactly what pick. I just needed a chance, a foot in the door. For it to be Dallas, oh man, it’s unbelievable,” said Deuce.
McCarthy said he’s confident that Deuce will play well with the Cowboys’ offense and his father said he’s happy that the team saw in his son what he’s always known he can do. While Deuce is smaller than most football players at just 5-foot-5, 179 pounds, Vaughn said his ability to play in multiple ways makes up for it. Of all the talent he’s drafted, Vaughn said this is by far the best and one he’ll never ever forget. He knows his son is going to make him proud and he’s an excellent addition to the family business.
“That’s the best one I ever made. You know, I told somebody he’s the hardest worker I know, I just happen to be his dad. It’s really refreshing to see that that’s what this league is made up of. Of guys that you can’t put a measurement on. That’s what he’s always been. I expect him to be that when he gets his opportunity that he’s earned as a player just doing it the right way,” said Vaughn.
Congratulations family! We’re all rooting for Deuce!
Cover photo: Watch the inspiring moment a Dallas Cowboys scout got the opportunity to draft his son/Photo Courtesy of @DallasCowboys/Instagram