Dick Tomey's and George Kalil's passing brought interesting questions to my mind.
Who is the next Tomey?
Who is the next Kalil?
And by extension:
Who is the next OOH AHH man? What event in Arizona will spark the creation of a new tradition (you do know the story of the OOH AHH Man, right)?
But that is not all. Ever meet former swimming coach Frank Busch? If you had, I guarantee you remember it. That guy was intense. And his record speaks for itself.
How About Jerry Kindall? I heard Lute Olson speak at a luncheon early in his tenure, maybe just after the first final four and he told a story about a time when he was asked if he was the greatest coach at Arizona. Lute said that he told the questioner that Jerry Kindall was both the greatest person and greatest coach employed by AZ.
I thought Mackovic was the answer to all of our trouble because I just assumed Tomey thought too small. Turned out Mackovic couldn't think at all. Then I supported Stoops saying 'think like a champion'. Strike 2! I HATED Rich Rod, but read Three and Out and then LOVED Rich Rod...but, at the very least, he has some character flaws. Now we have Sumlin who, I just assume, smokes a ridiculous amount of weed and talks slow and mellow....and really dropped the ball last year. Point is, not one of these guys has/had the fire and passion and energy of Tomey. Not one of them DEFINED AZ football or created a unique signature here. They did not imprint. They were/are mercenaries, hired guns....effective professionals but did/do any of them CARE like Tomey did? Tomey imprinted. Tomey defined AZ as underdogs and then used that to his advantage. Us against the world.
Are the current crop of coaches in all sports at Arizona the special types like Busch and Kindall and Olson and Tomey and Candrea were/are?
I am not suggesting they are not or that everyone who proceeded them were. The golf coach when I was there was well known as a world class jerk. Adia Barnes has a beaming light from heaven surrounding her, clearly. She is truly special.
I think we are in an era ripe for invention - ready for new traditions. Has the football team had any nickname since 'desert swarm'? Is the student section at BB games now organized enough and strong enough to replace the OOH AHH man?
Old generations die off....it is the way of things...I just wonder who/what is going to replace them.