Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures from later today.
I really appreciate your patience with the blog. I apologize for doing such a terrible job with the blog this year! One thing is for certain though, getting our team ready, training 8 new AWESOME student managers, and introducing a new staff member to a new environment is much more important than doing a blog!
I have so many things to be thankful for! Obviously I am really thankful to the AWESOME and WONDERFUL people I have surrounded myself with! I have been so blessed in my 33 years in this business to have worked with so many GREAT people! I have worked with some real super stars in this business! People like my brother, Milton Neal at WSU, JT Galloway at University of Colorado, Paul Lopez at ASU, Josh Pietz also at WSU, and so many more who are just GREAT people! I think of people like Brad Wilson, who is now a principal at Lake Roosevelt H.S. in Coulee Washington (he is also an AWESOME basketball coach and AD), Jeff Bopp with the Seattle Mariners, Brian Rose (pawthentics), and so many more that are just so successful in whatever they have chosen to do in life.
Well, right now, here at UofA, I have a group of student managers that could be the best group of all time! Not to mention, I have some wonderful people in this equipment room that I get to work with every single day like Tom Boesel, Benny Conger, Zac Cook and now Mike Valentine. These guys have been AWESOME this past month! There is NO WAY I could do what I get to do with out these four GREAT men and these 13 amazing student managers.
This is saying alot, since I have had great student managers here at UofA in the past 13 years! It makes me so happy when I see and hear from past student managers that are doing so well in life! One thing about UofA, it produces some great people! These kids get a GREAT education, and a GREAT college experience here. I just have to be careful not to screw it up!
Again, today is a very special day in my life, and as I sit here alone in my office I get very emotional about ALL the great people I have had the privilege of working with all of these years. I have never been happier in my career and it is all because of the people that have put up with me over these years. Also, I am very fortunate to work with GREAT coaches here at UofA! Mike Stoops is by far the best coach I have ever had the honor of working with. I only wish people had the chance to know him like I have been able to know him. Yes, he is an intense man and very emotional (I hope he never looses that either) man, but he is equally intense, passionate and emotional in the way he treats his players, coaches and EQUIPMENT MANAGERS. He thanks me everyday for the job that all of us (including student managers) here in the equipment room. The difference with him and coaches in the past, he not only talks the talk, he WALKS THE WALK!!!
But of course, the most important person I want to thank is my AWESOME wife, Cindy! She is an amazing woman and I would be NOTHING without her! She is by far my best friend too, and she supports me in everything I do, including dumb ideas that I have way too often. She has given me three incredible kids too, and they have always been so supportive and proud of what their dad does. It truly makes a difference.
I know I have left many names off, and it is always dangerous to blog something like this because I run the risk of forgetting people, but I just feel so strong about sharing my feelings and letting people know that it is really about people, not the individual. THANK YOU ALL!