AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas Longhorns have chosen an Austin man to honor as the Texas Lottery Veteran of the Game at their match against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday.

According to UT Athletics, Mal Wiley grew up with his family as farmers in East Texas. In 1955, just after graduating high school, Wiley traveled to California to go undergo Army basic training. 

After his training, Wiley served in the San Francisco area working on repairs to guided missile systems that defended the Bay Area from potential attacks.

After being discharged in 1958, Wiley moved back to Texas with his wife and son and found work in Austin as a delivery truck driver and nighttime janitor.

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While Wiley intended to return to school and become an educator, he heard that the Austin Police Department needed black patrolman and decided at the last minute to apply. Wiley passed the exam and made it through the coming rounds and eventually made it to the final three applicants.

Wiley started working at the APD in 1959 when the department was still segregated. He worked East Austin at nights, specifically East 12th Street, and said he was happy doing so.

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In 1971, Wiley had moved up to work as a homicide detective, and in 1987, he retired as an investigator in youth services.

Overall, Wiley has more than 30 years of uniformed service under his belt and has earned his spot as the Texas Lottery Veteran of the Game.

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