Pitt’s Tre Tipton honored for community leadership
Pitt wide receiver Tre Tipton received an honor Thursday that only five other Panthers have earned in the history of the program.
Joining linebacker Mike Caprara (2016), running back James Conner (2015) and quarterbacks Tyler Palko (2006) and Alex Van Pelt (1992), the 2015 Apollo-Ridge grad was named to the 2019 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. The honor recognizes football student-athletes for their leadership in local communities and commitment to giving back.
“I am tremendously honored to be recognized on this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team,” Tipton said in a news release Thursday. “Being involved in the community has been one of the most rewarding parts of my experience at Pitt. Our athletic department has a strong culture of giving back, and I’m thankful for the many opportunities we have to make a difference throughout Western Pennsylvania.”
Throughout his collegiate career, Tipton has set himself apart and displayed a passion to help others. He created L.O.V.E (Living Out Victoriously Everyday), which is a program that helps “empower, provide hope and build a community for collegiate student-athletes who are dealing with mental, emotional and physical struggles through fellowship and access to professional help.
The motivation to start L.O.V.E came from Tipton’s own personal struggles, and he wanted to make sure no member of the Pitt athletics community would have to face struggles alone. Tipton, who has five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown this season, has participated in other volunteer opportunities, as well.
The redshirt senior serves as a mentor at the Waypoint Youth and Community Center, which promotes the importance of reading and education at area elementary schools, and he has helped host Make-A-Wish Foundation children and veteran groups at the Pitt football facilities.
Tipton plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication from Pitt in four years and has started work on his graduate studies in Pitt’s School of Social Work. Since he joined the program, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said he has noticed Tipton’s commitment to giving back and believes he was truly deserving of the honor.
“Tre has made our entire program so proud, and I know he is going to continue making a difference in the community in his years beyond Pitt,” Narduzzi said in a release.
The 6-foot, 185-pound receiver’s community work didn’t start at the collegiate level though. During his four years at Apollo-Ridge, football coach John Skiba said he knew Tipton was destined for bigger things.
“He was so personable,” Skiba said. “Everyone wants to talk to him when he comes back because he was such a great kid when he was here. All the teachers loved him, he was such a great kid to be around.”
It wasn’t just the teachers who were impressed by Tipton. When he was being recruited, Skiba said college coaches showed a sense of wonder about him.
“When college coaches came to speak to him they were blown away,” Skiba said. “They were so impressed with how he carried himself because he spoke to you, he looked you right in the eyes and coaches said they didn’t see many kids carry themselves like that at such a young age.”
On occasion, Skiba said Tipton comes back to Apollo-Ridge to speak with the football team and other groups. When he does, it reminds him of the same thoughts he had when Tipton was still in high school.
“He’s a guy that we always knew was destined for bigger things, and now that’s showing,” Skiba said.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .