By Donna Parker
There are just not enough hours in the day for Jeff Wilt, who received his degree in geology in 1983 from Trinity. Jeff is principal and marketing director for Alpha Testing in Dallas, a geotechnical engineering firm currently testing building materials for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. It’s not just the job that keeps him hopping – Jeff and his family are involved in auto racing. This year, the family team, Tired Dog Racing, has qualified for the Sports Car Club of America National Runoffs championship this month in Topeka, Kan.
“We race about six times a year. It’s true road racing, as opposed to racing on an oval track. The speed, competition, and preparation present a major challenge! You’re either good at it or not, but you can work to get better. It’s basically as fast as you can go on the edge of disaster!” says Jeff, who travels at speeds up to 110 mph.
Jeff’s son, Casey, 16 and daughter, Megan, 17, have served as crew chiefs during races. They help prep the car and double check all things technical.
“My son straps me in, puts my helmet in place, and gives me the ‘thumbs up’ to go. That’s a lot of responsibility! Now, it looks like Casey will soon take the wheel. He has given up his birthday and Christmas presents to go to competition driving school next February.”
Jeff wound his way professionally from energy exploration to consulting engineering to marketing. He says for each curve in life’s track, he was prepared.
“Robert Freed, Walter Coppinger and especially Ed Roy encouraged all of us in the department to succeed academically. They were interested in us as students and guided our way – just all wonderful guys. When I went back to Trinity a few years ago to visit, Ed pulled up a chair and told my kids stories about me from 20 years back. It was amazing that he had that kind of recollection, but then, that was the kind of environment Trinity offered.”
Jeff says the relaxed, outdoor environment was also a plus.
“The limestone cliff in front of Isabel dorm was a bare cliff with one shade tree back in 1983. It had a perfect view of the tennis courts and the swimming pool. I spent many a day sitting there watching the world go by,” says Jeff fondly.
Twenty five years later, Jeff is happily raising his kids, racing and working, but the Trinity connection still remains.
“I work with Tony Janish, father of Elyse Janish ‘11, a current Trinity Tiger. Half the reason I took this job is that the company president brought me in and said God first, family second, and workplace third. Taking this job meant I stepped off into a new horizon of marketing. I’ve been happy ever since.”
You may e-mail Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.