This past Thursday I stopped working for a few hours and attended the UW Men's Basketball game.
FYI: UW looks very promising, which as many of you know, makes me feel great for I am not only an alumnus of the school, but also an alumnus of the athletic program. For seven years (four as a student athlete, three as a coach) I walked the halls of the Graves Complex (athletic offices and NCAA weight room). I will never forget the day I met Tui in the training room. I was in there with blister issues (yes, golfers are athletes :)) and Tui as a true freshman had two days prior played a key role in a UW loss to Nebraska at Montlake.
Tui was wearing gym shorts, but they were pulled down so everyone in the room could see his backside . He had a bruise that started behind his right knee and it went all the way up to mid-point on his back. Lots of beautiful blacks, blues and yellows made for a mosaic of pain.
Remember, I was in there with blisters. Yes, big boy felt like a little golfer boy...
I introduced myself to Tui, told him I was a first year coach. I told him I was proud of him. Told him that Husky Nation was proud of him. He smiled, said thanks and then told me to "never get hit in the ass by two-by-four unless you want this!" We all laughed.
Seven years later I had a chance to play in a golf four-ball match with Tui as my partner. We beat Jeff Landskov, ex-UW trainer, and a friend of his who was a trainer with the Seahawks.
Having Tui as a partner and me leading the charge was really exciting. Winning made it just that much sweeter...
Tui is a great man. As many of you know, he hails from one of the finest sports families in the PNW, maybe in the world. The Tuiasosopos are a special breed.
There are many great ex-UW Athletes making an impact in our community and beyond. Here is a short list of friends of mine and many who I'm proud to have met and befriended.
1. Chuck Nelson
3. O.D. Vincent III
4. Tara Erickson (Bilanski)
5. Angie Mentink (Marzetta)
6. Kenny Knutsen
7. Mary Lou Morris
8. Greg Metcalf
9. Jason Hamilton
10. Brett Martin (he is my best friend so I had to list him...)
11. Christine Martin (wife of Brett, she earns the recognition :))
12. Softy Mahler (look, I know Dave never attended the UW, but his love and passion are unwavering)
13. Eric Schlepp (if he isn't the smartest football player at ever to don pads at UW, he is top ten, no question - and a great friend to boot)
14. Leslie Galimore