We are launching a new feature called "Where Are They Now," highlighting some of the notable names from our athletic past.
Thanks to my years of working on the Mean Green Radio Network and as an administrator at North Texas, I have forged some meaningful relationships with the student-athletes with whom I have worked from a variety of sports. Now, being charged with branding and enhancing our North Texas Letterwinners Association, I work with the NTLA Board of Directors, made up of former student-athletes from all 16 of UNT's intercollegiate programs.
"Where Are They Now" will not necessarily focus on people I know, but to get things started, it does help. However, I would enjoy receiving your ideas on possible people to spotlight in the future. Send those ideas to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our first feature is on a member of our NTLA Board and someone I have kept up with since we both started at North Texas in the mid-1990s. He has remained one of the best North Texas ambassadors around: Brownwood, Texas, product James "Hut" Allred.
In 1995, the North Texas football team returned to NCAA Division 1-A as an independent, which meant no conference affiliation only a year after winning the Southland Conference and advancing to the NCAA 1-AA playoffs. The schedules was as demanding as any you could draw up, featuring away games at Missouri, Oklahoma, Nevada, LSU, Alabama, UNLV and Louisville. There were just three home games at Fouts Field in '95, one of which was an upset of Oregon State to mark the first D-1 victory of the new era. Allred only played in one game that year due to an injury suffered in the season opener against Missouri, but he has not forgotten that amazing foray back in the D-1A ranks.
Hut and I got together for lunch recently to talk about the NTLA and, invariably, that 1995 season and the subsequent transition into the Big West Conference. We agreed that the pioneers of the return to D-1 status deserve a lot of credit for pulling the football program and the entire athletic department into a new existence. It was far from easy, and the wins didn't come in very regularly, but despite the challenges of an aging facility, a more commuter-based campus mentality and the unreal scheduling and travel, players like Hut Allred charged on for UNT. And he still does, as co-chair of NTLA's Special Events Committee.
Hut's career was a solid one. He appeared in all 11 games in his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns. The durable running back became a fixture in the Big West Conference, amassing over 1,800 yards on the ground. A hard man to bring down, Hut was good for better than four yards a pop and found the end zone 12 times in his UNT career.
What else would you expect from a football player who earned the nickname “Hut" by running around his house as an 18-month old saying, "hut, hut, hut." Eventually, his older brother started calling him Hut and the nickname stuck. The moniker soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Where is this Allred now? After graduating with a bachelor's in kinesiology, he found himself at a crossroads: pursue a career in football or in his other passion, fitness and helping people achieve their personal best.
He made the choice to go into the fitness industry, and in 2000 became a certified personal trainer. Not long after that he started New Wave Fitness, Inc. in 2002.
Here's more about his business:
Based in Irving, Texas, Hut's company, New Wave Fitness, Inc., is dedicated to helping people from all walks of life to look and feel their best, while developing a healthy lifestyle and preventing disease. With over a thousand clients that Allred and his staff of highly qualified fitness experts have coached, Hut is a firm believer that everyone can improve their quality of life by learning more about nutrition and fitness. Hut and his staff of fitness experts provide the most current and relevant information to their clientele and implement programs that are tailor-made for each individual, whether they are young or old, men or women, beginners or advanced. All that is expected of those who work with New Wave Fitness is that they have a goal to reach and they are committed and passionate about achieving it.
James "Hut" Allred
Owner, New Wave Fitness, Inc.
Company size: 11-50 employees
Specialties: personal trainers, nutrition, fitness programs, and corporate wellness