Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

All The Way To Memphis

I've rarely rooted for the Memphis Tigers. Once when they were underdogs in the Conference USA tournament final against Louisville, a couple of other times against favored major programs. Aside from that, I've been neutral at best. But I'm rooting hard for them tonight. Not only is likable ex-Arizona assistant Josh Pastner coaching his first game, but my former student Jack Murphy, who was in my very first class in the state of Arizona and always went out of his way to indulge my love of college basketball -- he's the reason I had those great seats for Cal's annual visit to Tucson several years running -- is now one of his assistant coaches. I remember the first time Jack came to my office hours, when he explained his plan to build a coaching career. A lot of people talk about the future. Jack did what it took to make it happen. And he also found time along the way to call me from Amoeba Records in Berkeley during the Wildcats' Bay Area trip one year and ask me if there was anything special I wanted. I told him to look for Pearls Before Swine albums that I'd been unable to find in Tucson. The next week he showed up at my office hours with two of them in his hand and enough time in his busy schedule to make time for another one of our conversations about the Pac-10. He's as good a person as you'll ever find in college sports. Seeing him sitting on the sideline tonight, chin in hand, studying the action or giving last-minute tips to Memphis players after a timeout makes truly warms my heart.
Tags: sports, teaching

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