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Buna Native Dr. Charles Breithaupt named 2024 Lamar University Distinguished Alumnus

Charles E. Breithaupt currently holds the position of executive director at the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) and is also an associate vice president at the University of Texas at Austin. In this dual role, he leads the largest governing body in the nation for interscholastic academic, athletic, and music competitions, overseeing education-based competitions for nearly 5,300 elementary and secondary schools in Texas.

A graduate of Buna High School in 1972, Breithaupt earned his Bachelor of Science in 1975 and Master of Science in 1979, both in Health and Physical Education from Lamar University. He later achieved his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. With a career spanning 48 years in public education, Breithaupt served as a teacher, coach, director of athletics, and principal in Southeast Texas before his appointment as the executive director.

Under Breithaupt's leadership, significant changes and additions have been made to UIL programs, including the implementation of a six-conference alignment, centralized football championships, and the introduction of various new activities such as student congress, essay competitions, film festival, robotics, mariachi, military marching championships, the Game Day state spirit championships, and water polo. He has prioritized student safety by initiating the UIL Medical Advisory Committee, consisting of medical professionals across the state, to develop protocols safeguarding student participants.

Breithaupt's contributions to high school activities have been recognized through inductions into various halls of fame, including the Texas Basketball Hall of Fame, Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, Texas High School Coaches Hall of Honor, Texas High School Athletic Directors Association (THASDA) Hall of Fame, Southeast Texas Coaches Hall of Honor, and the City of Palms Classic Hall of Fame. He was also named one of the top 100 coaches from the past 100 years for the 100th anniversary of Texas high school basketball.

Acknowledged for his service, Breithaupt has received awards from the National Football Foundation, Texas High School Athletic Directors Association, and Varsity Brands. He has received the State Award of Merit from the Texas Girls Coaches Association and the NIAAA/THSADA Award of Merit. Additionally, he has been a two-time recipient of the NIAAA Citation Award by the THSADA and has received two Lone Star Emmy Awards as executive producer of the Fox Southwest High School Spotlight Show.

Outside of his professional roles, Breithaupt serves on the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation (TILF) Board of Directors, contributing to the growth of scholarships for UIL academic state meet participants attending colleges or universities in Texas. Under his tenure, the TILF endowment has increased from $8 million to over $22 million.

Apart from his career in education, Breithaupt is the author of five books focused on significant events in Southeast Texas and holds the position of visiting professor at Texas A&M University.

Charles and his wife, Debbie, residents of Georgetown, Texas, are actively involved at First Baptist Church. They have one daughter Deah, who is married to attorney James Twine. Charles and Debbie have two granddaughters, Reagan and Bristol.


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