Former Appalachian State University football all-American Daniel Kilgore, who was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round of last month’s National Football League Draft, hosted a field trip for a class of special-education students from Hardin Park Elementary School at ASU’s athletics facilities on Monday.
Kilgore spent the spring semester as a student-teacher at Hardin Park while also preparing for the NFL Draft. As part of his student-teaching duties, he worked with special-education students in adaptive physical-education classes. Kilgore graduated from Appalachian on Sunday after majoring in physical education and adaptive physical education.
Following Sunday’s graduation, Kilgore hosted a field trip for his special-education students on Monday. The field trip included a tour of ASU’s athletics facilities, activities in the Sofield Family Indoor Practice Facility, lunch on the club level of the Appalachian Athletics Center and taking in a few innings of the Appalachian-Western Carolina baseball game at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
While pro football holds the next chapter in Kilgore’s life, he aspires to be a coach and special-education teacher following the conclusion of what is hopefully a long and prosperous playing career.
“I am very happy that I was drafted, but I absolutely love working with these kids,” the 6-3, 308-pound offensive lineman said. “I have had a great student-teaching experience and I know that when my NFL career is over, I will get to work in another field that I love and that is working with special-education students and coaching.”
Mary Williams, the adaptive physical education specialist for Watauga County schools, believes that Kilgore is well-suited for his second career.
“Daniel is a model student with great heart and compassion for teaching,” Williams said. “He has a great work ethic and is really kind-hearted. He wants his students to learn and is willing to do whatever to ensure that they do. The students really benefited from Daniel being their teacher. He taught the class a variety of things, including swimming, yoga and the group even made hula hoops. I know that Daniel will make a great teacher and we wish him nothing but the best for the future.”
Kilgore will continue to work out in Boone until there is a resolution to the NFL lockout, at which time he will report to San Francisco.
He is among over 2,000 ASU students, including 50 student-athletes, that received degrees from Appalachian during seven graduation ceremonies over the weekend.
ASU STUDENT-ATHLETE GRADUATES — SPRING 2011
Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field
Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field