LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Alton Dixon walked into football practice Tuesday afternoon just like it was any other day. Little did he know the team and some individuals in the community had a little surprise for him.
"He does what's right. He treats the kids right, even the ones not in athletics. It doesn't matter if they're here or not. He's a special person to all of us," said Lufkin athletic director Todd Quick.
A group of Dixon's friends took it upon themselves to raise money and buy coach Dixon the Aggie ring he never received. Dixon graduated and played football for Texas A&M from 2005-2009.
"With the dedication he has to the Lufkin Panthers program and being a former Panther and Aggie, we felt like he deserved his ring for the way he treats the kids and takes care of them. A lot of people don't know what Alton does for this program and for the kids," said Dixon's classmate Austin Thigpen.
Now seven years later, Dixon is able to slide his Aggie ring on his finger. It's a sentimental souvenir that reflects the rich tradition he was a part of in Aggieland.
"It signifies so much as far as what you've done, where you've been, and the people that you know. It solidifies you in a group that is a family and I couldn't be more happy," said Dixon. "I'm especially appreciative for the people that helped me get this. This is a blessing."
Dixon said the reason he hadn't been able to buy a ring is because it wasn't within his financial means while taking care of his grandfather.