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75src Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
I remember standing next to Wayne on the concourse at a football game in 2006 when we were behind in the fourth quarter and Rice made a good play. Wayne believed enough that he said we are going to win the game and we did. Wayne believed in winning instead of the defeatist attitude that has too often been present in Rice athletics for the last 50 years. He believed in possibilities instead of excuses.
05-29-2018 01:10 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #22
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-29-2018 01:10 AM)75src Wrote:  I remember standing next to Wayne on the concourse at a football game in 2006 when we were behind in the fourth quarter and Rice made a good play. Wayne believed enough that he said we are going to win the game and we did. Wayne believed in winning instead of the defeatist attitude that has too often been present in Rice athletics for the last 50 years. He believed in possibilities instead of excuses.

For this reason, I always hoped that his retirement gig would be some sort of associate AD position where his job was to coach the coaches as some sort of supercoach. A number of posters seem to expect the AD to do that and have expressed disappointment that JK has not done more of that. That may have been the AD's role 50 years ago, but times have changed. In a modern athletic department the AD's commitment to the business and finance side is a full time job. Rice missed the boat on that transition and has paid the price, particularly on the revenue generation side.

So let the AD figure out how to make massive improvements in revenues, and Graham coach the coaches. Charge him with eradicating the historic Rice mentality of "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse" and"if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." If he could accomplish that, and he might be the only person who can, he could be not only the reason why Rice has D-1 athletics today, but the reason why Rice has D-1 athletics 50 years from now.

Unfortunately that ship as sailed. Without him, I don't like our chances.
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2018 05:38 AM by Owl 69/70/75.)
05-29-2018 04:59 AM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-27-2018 10:37 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Thanks to Wayne, I can say something that lots of my friends at P5 schools cannot:

I watched my school win a national championship.

I tell everyone that that was the second happiest day of my life.
05-29-2018 09:53 AM
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JOwl Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
I want to express my sincerest thanks to Wayne for everything he's done for Rice U. He's far and away the best thing that's happened to Rice athletics in the 20+ years I've been associated with Rice, and I would argue that also goes for the entire athletics history of the school.

Additionally, he also seemed like a fascinating guy who was a great fit for Rice. I base that the stories relayed here by Cole St. Clair's father. (PS, has anyone seen FightonOwl lately? I miss having him here.)
05-29-2018 11:01 AM
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krehbr Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-29-2018 11:01 AM)JOwl Wrote:  I want to express my sincerest thanks to Wayne for everything he's done for Rice U. He's far and away the best thing that's happened to Rice athletics in the 20+ years I've been associated with Rice, and I would argue that also goes for the entire athletics history of the school.

Additionally, he also seemed like a fascinating guy who was a great fit for Rice. I base that the stories relayed here by Cole St. Clair's father. (PS, has anyone seen FightonOwl lately? I miss having him here.)

+1

Cole's dad's posts were always fantastic!
05-29-2018 11:20 AM
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junrice Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
I am surprised that the thread is not long as I expected.
(This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 10:20 AM by junrice.)
05-30-2018 10:20 AM
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NYNightOwl Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Owlaholic said it well. We'll be lucky if any future coaches, profs or students have Coach Graham's positive impact on our school.
One of the things that I appreciate most is his lack of "post-game blathery coach-speak." There are few people in sports who both truly tell it like it is - without sugar-coating- and also have so much to say.
Watching the 2003 series in Omaha together with my family is one of my top lifetime memories. Thank you coach!
05-30-2018 02:10 PM
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75src Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
I would say at least 50 years. Neely was also a positive for Rice but he was forced to retire in 1966. I have been a Rice fan for nearly 60 years.

I thought Hall before Graham was a positive in starting to get the baseball program moving but it took Graham to get us to the top.

(05-29-2018 11:20 AM)krehbr Wrote:  
(05-29-2018 11:01 AM)JOwl Wrote:  I want to express my sincerest thanks to Wayne for everything he's done for Rice U. He's far and away the best thing that's happened to Rice athletics in the 20+ years I've been associated with Rice, and I would argue that also goes for the entire athletics history of the school.

Additionally, he also seemed like a fascinating guy who was a great fit for Rice. I base that the stories relayed here by Cole St. Clair's father. (PS, has anyone seen FightonOwl lately? I miss having him here.)

+1

Cole's dad's posts were always fantastic!
05-30-2018 06:18 PM
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Baconator Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Wayne Graham is probably the most important figure in the history of Rice University aside from William M. Rice and Edgar O. Lovett. Thank you coach, for all the great memories.
05-31-2018 09:46 AM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-31-2018 09:46 AM)Baconator Wrote:  Wayne Graham is probably the most important figure in the history of Rice University aside from William M. Rice and Edgar O. Lovett. Thank you coach, for all the great memories.

I'd add Jess Neely in there as well. But in the modern Rice era, no one other person has been as important to the University. (Richard Smalley and Robert Curl being a tandem.) Thanks Coach Graham, for saving Div-I sports at Rice for all the alumni who have greatly benefited from your having done so, improving the value of their degrees whether they understand how important Div-I sports is for the school or not.
05-31-2018 10:05 AM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-31-2018 10:05 AM)GoodOwl Wrote:  
(05-31-2018 09:46 AM)Baconator Wrote:  Wayne Graham is probably the most important figure in the history of Rice University aside from William M. Rice and Edgar O. Lovett. Thank you coach, for all the great memories.

I'd add Jess Neely in there as well. But in the modern Rice era, no one other person has been as important to the University. (Richard Smalley and Robert Curl being a tandem.) Thanks Coach Graham, for saving Div-I sports at Rice for all the alumni who have greatly benefited from your having done so, improving the value of their degrees whether they understand how important Div-I sports is for the school or not.

I would NOT put Neely in that group. Our decline was pronounced before he left, and spotty prior to that. One SWC title in his last ten years? Part of the problem was his attitude toward black athletes.

For inclusion into the second tier, behind Rice, Lovett, and Graham, I would nominate Bobby May.
05-31-2018 10:47 AM
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davidw Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
I don't think Neely had anything against black athletes - he was caught up in the times down here. Nobody in the SWC had any black athletes, except SMU had (all american) Jerry Levias. We recruited our first black athletes when I was a sophomore (Rodrigo Barnes, Stahle Vincent, Mike Tyler). That was 1967.

Of course the Tx great black athletes went out of state in the early 60's - Michigan State, UCLA, etc.

Bear Bryant didn't have any black athletes at Bama early on, and purposely scheduled USC to come play him in Tuscaloosa. After that @ss whipping by the Trojans, he didn't have any issues going forward.
05-31-2018 12:06 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-31-2018 12:06 PM)davidw Wrote:  I don't think Neely had anything against black athletes - he was caught up in the times down here. Nobody in the SWC had any black athletes, except SMU had (all american) Jerry Levias. We recruited our first black athletes when I was a sophomore (Rodrigo Barnes, Stahle Vincent, Mike Tyler). That was 1967.

Of course the Tx great black athletes went out of state in the early 60's - Michigan State, UCLA, etc.

Bear Bryant didn't have any black athletes at Bama early on, and purposely scheduled USC to come play him in Tuscaloosa. After that @ss whipping by the Trojans, he didn't have any issues going forward.

To be fair, I understand that Rice recruited LeVias. I don't know if that was Neely or not. But I came to Rice in 1963. The previous year's record was 2-6-2. That year was 6-4, and was the last winning season for decades. Our last previous bowl trip was to the Bluebonnet Bowl held in scenic Rice Stadium in 1961. I think our last co-championship was 57 or 58. The decline started in the 50's, under Neely. Even without a decline, the SWC was a merry-go-round, with a new champion every year. We just started missing our turn.
Certainly Neely was better than a lot of the guys who followed him, I just don't think he deserves inclusion at the top level. JMHO. Graham definitely does.
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2018 12:35 PM by OptimisticOwl.)
05-31-2018 12:34 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #34
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
When Nealy left, the job attracted some top names, including Ray Graves of Florida and Tommy Prothro of then #2 UCLA. Prothro was interesting because at UCLA he had developed a talent pipeline from the Golden Triangle area. Being closer to that pipeline was a big appeal to him, as was getting out from under John Wooden’s shadow. Had he come, I believe Rice would have been among the leading SWC schools in going after African American athletes.
05-31-2018 01:57 PM
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Gravy Owl Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-31-2018 01:57 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  Had he come, I believe Rice would have been among the leading SWC schools in going after African American athletes.

Was that seen as a plus by the powers-that-were at Rice in 1967?
05-31-2018 02:26 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-31-2018 02:26 PM)Gravy Owl Wrote:  
(05-31-2018 01:57 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  Had he come, I believe Rice would have been among the leading SWC schools in going after African American athletes.

Was that seen as a plus by the powers-that-were at Rice in 1967?

I was wondering the same thing.
05-31-2018 02:27 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #37
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-31-2018 02:27 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(05-31-2018 02:26 PM)Gravy Owl Wrote:  
(05-31-2018 01:57 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  Had he come, I believe Rice would have been among the leading SWC schools in going after African American athletes.
Was that seen as a plus by the powers-that-were at Rice in 1967?
I was wondering the same thing.

I don't know, and I don't know if that was a factor or not. I have wondered.
05-31-2018 03:11 PM
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NolaOwl Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thanks for all the memories, Coach Graham.
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 09:17 AM by NolaOwl.)
06-01-2018 09:15 AM
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AnotherOldOwl Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
After trying, and failing, to come up with anything more eloquent that what is in many of the previous replies, I will just say thanks coach Graham, for all the enjoyment you've provided me as a Rice baseball fan over the years.
06-01-2018 10:16 AM
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Ranger Offline
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Post: #40
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Greatest college baseball coach ever.
06-02-2018 11:47 AM
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