Former Texas quarterback David Ash addressed the media Monday for the first time since head coach Charlie Strong announced the junior’s retirement last week.
Ash’s career came into question after he reported concussion-like symptoms to team doctors after the season opener against North Texas on Aug. 30. He missed all but three games last year after suffering a concussion against BYU in the second week of the season.
Ash said the past year has been hard on him, but after three weeks of deliberation, he’s at peace with his decision.
“At the core of my heart of hearts, I know I shouldn’t be playing,” Ash said.
Ash went 15-7 as a starter in four seasons with Texas, and he finishes his career eighth in school history with 4,728 passing yards. Despite these accomplishments, Ash hopes he is remembered more for the type of person he was than the type of player he was.
“I want what I stand for to stick out more than my abilities,” Ash said. “I think we live in a world where façade and skills [are gifts]; you can’t control your looks; you can’t control your athletic ability. I hope people remember me as treating other people well, not based on athletic ability or how fun you are.”
While Ash always hoped to return to playing, he said he’s looking forward to his future and enjoying life beyond football.
“There’s still so much,” Ash said. “There’s so much good life out there besides football. I’m really excited to put time in those things now. I love my family. I love getting to spend more time with them, my friends. … You know, maybe I’ll get a girlfriend. Who knows? There’s all kind of possibilities going on right now.”
With Ash’s retirement, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will become the full-time starter. Swoopes started each of the last two games — both losses — but he played well, passing for 372 yards and three touchdowns against just one interception.
Ash said he’s been impressed with Swoopes so far, and he stressed that he is always willing to offer advice to him or backup freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard if needed.
“I have some experience, and I have some things that I can share with these quarterbacks,” Ash said. “And, if they need help, or if they are in a situation where I can help them, I want to be there and be able to do that and just, you know, share what I’ve gone through and help them make this team successful.”