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Monday, May 7, 2018

Youngest Player In His Own Field Of Dreams

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Long-time Bowl fan Trey Giglio is the chairman of the 2018 Walk On’s Independence Bowl

He was recognized as Texas A&M University’s top graduating engineer in 2010.

He is the vice-president of a company – Universal Mechanical and Universal Plumbing – which in 2011 was recognized as Louisiana’s Business of the Year.

He has been appointed by Louisiana’s governor to the State Plumbing Board Advisory Board.

So it’s no surprise 30-year-old Trey Giglio is not the least bit intimidated by being the youngest chairman in Walk- On’s Independence Bowl history.

“No, not at all,” Giglio said. “I have the credentials to back it up. To me, it’s not about your age, it’s about what you’ve accomplished.”

The Shreveport native and Caddo Magnet High graduate has accomplished quite a bit. His resume’ includes:

• A member of Texas A&M’s Academic Panel, where he oversaw final grades, suspensions and expulsions from the university.

• Holder of master licenses in plumbing, mechanical, electrical, general construction, and municipal and public works construction.

• Seven years as a Louisiana High School Athletic Association football official.

This year, for the first time, he will be a full-time college official.

Now, Giglio is ready to focus his skills on helping make the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl the best it can be. To do that, he will use his experience as a Bowl vice-chairman.

“During the past three years, knowing I was going to be the chairman and working my way through committees, I made notes about what needs to be done. What things can be done better? What do we need to take a fresh look at?” For Giglio, being chairman is a labor of love. He grew up around the game, as his father and grandfather were both involved with the Independence Bowl Foundation, the organization that puts on the game.

“This is always something I wanted to be involved in – something I always had a passion for,” Giglio said. “I can remember looking through those game programs and looking through the bowl leadership and thinking that is certainly something I would be interested in contributing my time to one day.”

Giglio, who owns an original Independence Bowl lapel pen and tie, is not only fond of the Independence Bowl, he’s fond of his hometown. He knows the game’s success – and the national television exposure – can play a role in the city’s success.

“For most people in the world, the Independence Bowl is the only glimpse of Shreveport they will ever know in their entire life. It’s so important we make sure it’s a good impression that they see. Our goal is that they see it and want to come to Shreveport and want to experience our culture. I believe that’s a pretty big responsibility when that’s the only impression that you are going to get of the city.”

Giglio says several things are in the works to enhance the 2018 Bowl experience. “Bowl Week” will feature “the largest parade in Independence Bowl history,” as well as an expanded “block party” and improvements to the day-of-game “fan fest.”

“We want to make sure we give that ‘Big Game’ atmosphere outside the stadium,” Giglio said.

But he also wants the Bowl to have more of a year-round presence in Shreveport. To that end, this year will feature three new events: a United States Tennis Association Level-2 tournament, a golf tournament and a half-marathon.

“These events promote economic development for the community throughout the year, so we’re not just a one-week or one-day event,” Giglio said. “All of that contributes to the experience that our community has with the Bowl.”

As is customary, Giglio – whose wife, Sarah, is a local attorney – will have one year to leave his mark as chairman. Only when that year is over will his leadership be judged.

“I would want someone to say that the Foundation and the Independence Bowl took a step forward, whether that be a step forward in the experience, in our match-up. It’s not about me – it’s about the game and the organization. As long as someone thinks the game and the organization moved forward, then I was successful.”

For more information on the Walk- On’s Independence Bowl, you may visit www.walkonsindependencebowl.com.

– Tony Taglavore

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