When NFL players return to Baylor to train or talk about old times, they’ve got a place where they can unpack and stay awhile.
The Charline Dauphin Pro Locker Room is open any time former Bears like Robert Griffin III, Terrance Williams and Kendall Wright want to come back. Located in the Simpson Center, the locker room was dedicated Monday.
There are currently lockers with nameplates for 12 former Baylor players. Some are veterans on NFL rosters while others are rookies hoping to make teams like New York Jets fourth-round draft pick Bryce Petty, St. Louis Rams seventh-round pick Bryce Hager and Dallas Cowboys free agent Antwan Goodley.
“The generous gift from Charline Dauphin allows Baylor football a unique opportunity to show appreciation to our former players that are active in the NFL,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “By having their own locker room, the NFL guys can come back to Baylor and train when their schedule allows, as well as interacting with our current players and Baylor family.”
Last September, Baylor announced that Dauphin had given a $500,000 gift for the locker room. Charline and her late husband Sidney Dauphin of Silsbee started Texas Home Health. When the business was sold, it had more than 12,000 employees and more than 30 offices across Texas.
The Dauphins have a history of investing in athletic programs, and Charline has enjoyed watching Briles build the Baylor football program.
“Baylor’s program is impressive, and Coach Briles absolutely impressed me with his charm and enthusiasm,” said Charline Dauphin when the locker room was announced in September.
Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw believes the locker room is a unique way for former players to stay connected with the football program.
“It’s always a great sign when former players come back because that means they felt great about the experience they had at Baylor and they still have a bond with the coaching staff,” McCaw said. “We’re certainly very proud of them and all they’ve accomplished. It’s a great way to honor them as well.”
McCaw said he has often seen former players come back to Baylor to train. Drafted in 2012 by the Tennessee Titans, Wright has been back to Baylor so often that it seems like he never left in the first place.
“It’s become very common for our players to come back during the offseason whether it’s to reconnect with the coaches or to work out,” McCaw said. “In many cases they’ve brought NFL teammates with them as well. I remember Robert Griffin came with some Redskins receivers. We want to give them great accommodations when they do come back.”