Farewell Coach Tierney

Tierney was a UWM lifer; hell, he was an MSTC lifer.

I don’t need to go into details on the man.  John Tierney got a much better eulogy by Tom Enlund than I could ever write.  I just thought I’d share the story of how I met Coach.

Two years ago, on my way into the athletics offices, I was stopped by Rob Jeter.  “I’ve got someone you should meet.”

Instead of steering me to a basketball recruit, I found myself standing belly-to-face with an ancient man, back curled over a walker.  He was heading in to exercise.  Exercise?  Yeah.  Ninety-four at the time, Coach Tierney and his friend Paul were on their way into the gym.

Our discussion was brief, really just pleasantries.  But Jeter was right; this is a man that anyone who bleeds black and gold needs to meet.  This guy was the original Gull, the football and track star graduated from the university when you were still supposed to bleed green and white.  His hundreds of student-athletes that came under his wing are mourning the loss of a very important person today.

I’m glad that I got the chance to meet him, and my only regret is that generations of Panthers after me won’t get that same chance.

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