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Thanks Coach Graham!
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mrbig Offline
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Post: #1
Thanks Coach Graham!
Seems like a good time for a dedicated thread. It was a great, long ride and I am sad to see it come to an end.

Thanks for everything you gave to the program and the university, and for your leadership during the longest stretch of sustained success in Rice athletics history. Thanks for having a vision and confidence in yourself to achieve the vision. Thanks for understanding that different players needed different motivations. Thanks for being able to connect with players from multiple generations over your 2+ decades at Rice. Thanks for your class and intelligence. Regardless of where you end up in the future, we hope you remember that a lot of us hold a deep affection for you and I'm sure you would receive a hero's welcome at The Reck, aka The House that Wayne Built, anytime!

As a humble, untalented walk-on who arrived fairly early in your Rice career, it has been astounding to see what you built and sustained. Best wishes!
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2018 12:47 PM by mrbig.)
05-27-2018 12:46 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Aside from the incredible sustained run of on-field success, the impact The OG has had on Rice athletics in general and the university as a whole is immeasurable. From the OE "R" branding to increased awareness of Rice nationwide, and from strengthened alumni connection to the University to an inflow of donations (and not just baseball related), we all owe Wayne our thanks and gratitude. As has been often pointed out, if not for Wayne and our national championship, Rice would no longer be in D-1. (Before the McKinsey study was commissioned, the university was actively considering doing away with football, and McKinsey concluded that could not happen while retaining our D-1 baseball program.) The national championship resulted in an increase in applications and a significant uptick in gifts to the University. The building of Reckling Park ushered in an era of athletic facilities upgrades.

There are only a single handful of college baseball coaches in history who have not only built their program from scratch, but sustained a consistent level of excellent for over two decades. Augie did it at Cal State-Fullerton, but he didn't have to deal with the academic requirements and private school tuition challenges that Wayne had to deal with. What he did at Rice was the model that has been followed by the likes of Vanderbilt, Virginia, UNC and most recently, Duke.

Thanks, Coach, for giving us one hell of a ride, and two decades worth of favorite memories. Here's wishing you and Tanya all the best going forward. I only hope that over time the bitterness of how all this was handled will fade away, and only the good memories of your Rice experience and all that you achieved will remain. 04-cheers
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2018 01:34 PM by waltgreenberg.)
05-27-2018 01:06 PM
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THRILL Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Can't be any better than the best ever.
He's as good as we've ever had.

Thanks Coach.
05-27-2018 01:08 PM
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mrbig Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Given where the program was when he took over and all the things that make succeeding at a school like Rice difficult, I think Wayne Graham might have been one of the best coaches in collegiate history in any sport.
05-27-2018 01:16 PM
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ETx Owl Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Great job coach.
05-27-2018 01:24 PM
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Owl1998 Online
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Post: #6
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-27-2018 01:16 PM)mrbig Wrote:  Given where the program was when he took over and all the things that make succeeding at a school like Rice difficult, I think Wayne Graham might have been one of the best coaches in collegiate history in any sport.

Absolutely.

Thank you, Coach Graham. And I echo what Walt said....I hope the bitterness on all sides will cease to exist and the University can celebrate the amazing journey you’ve taken us on over the last (nearly) 3 decades and properly honor you.
05-27-2018 01:30 PM
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exowlswimmer Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
The ‘Onion Report’ part ***3


“Rice University, after a worldwide talent search, has announced that their new baseball coach to replace the irreplaceable 6 time collegiate national championship coach Wayne Graham is ‘Wayne Graham’!

Rice will bestow upon Graham an honorary PhD (first ever for the institute) at commencement 2019 with the University moving commencement to accommodate the baseball program’s 2019 march to the CWS!”

Sorry, have been reading too much SciFi! Echoing Mr. Big’s sentiments!
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2018 06:44 AM by exowlswimmer.)
05-27-2018 02:31 PM
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Fort Bend Owl Online
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Post: #8
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Congrats on a wonderful career. Enjoy the time off. Hopefully you and Tanya generally will look back upon these 2 1/2 decades with great fondness and appreciation.
05-27-2018 03:31 PM
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Hambone10 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
I’ve said before that words can’t express what Wayne and Tanya have meant to Rice Athketics...at least not my words

So thanks to you all who express it so much better

The House that Wayne Built should go on the stadium with a statue out front... honestly it should be on the Athletics Office Door... but the Reck will do
05-27-2018 04:44 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #10
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thanks for the memories, Wayne. The many, many memories. I hope you enjoyed creating them as much as we enjoyed being privileged to watch them.

And for anyone wondering about Wayne's impact, Rice has D-1 athletics today because Wayne won a national championship. Period. No president, no athletic director, no coach of any other sport can claim that. IMO that earned him the privilege to go out on his own terms and to choose his successor. I don't care what you may say about whether such arrangements are appropriate or useful. That may apply 99.9% of the time. Wayne's legacy doesn't happen 99.9% of the time.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2018 07:24 PM by Owl 69/70/75.)
05-27-2018 06:11 PM
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krehbr Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-27-2018 06:11 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  Thanks for the memories, Wayne. The many, many memories. I hope you enjoyed creating them as much as we enjoyed being privileged to watch them.

And for anyone wondering about Wayne's impact, Rice has D-1 athletics today because Wayne won a national championship. IMO that earned him the privilege to go out on his own terms and to choose his successor. I don't care what you may say about whether such arrangements are appropriate or useful. That may apply 99.9% of the time. Wayne's legacy doesn't happen 99.9% of the time.

+1

I was in a grocery store early this baseball season in Boca Raton where we live. I had a Rice baseball shirt on and that particular day so did one other alumnus (I assume). He and I didn't get an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other, but another gentleman walked up to me and said, "What are the chances that 2 guys with Rice shirts would be in the same store in Boca at the same time?"

It turned out that he had served as an assistant coach (probably a graduate assistant) on FAU's baseball team during the 2016 season. So I asked him if he had any Wayne Graham stories. He shared one with me regarding motivational aspects of Graham's coaching that the FAU team witnessed first hand while passing through the cages at Reckling that season. He was a fan of and professed much respect for Coach.

Coach Graham has touched a lot of lives and left us fans with hundreds of memories. Thanks Coach!
05-27-2018 06:54 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thanks to Wayne, I can say something that lots of my friends at P5 schools cannot:

I watched my school win a national championship.
05-27-2018 10:37 PM
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Almadenmike Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
When I mention to folks here in California that I graduated from Rice, as many come back with "They have a very good baseball team" as with "That's a very good school."

You're the best, Coach!

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05-28-2018 12:18 AM
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ESE84 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thank you coach for building a program that made us all proud.
05-28-2018 09:01 AM
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I45owl Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thank you coach Graham! I do not have the elegance to express my gratitude any better than those who have already posted here, but I share their sentiments.

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05-28-2018 11:00 AM
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grol Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thanks, Coach. What a ride!
05-28-2018 01:16 PM
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davidw Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
megadittos, Coach Graham. You're such an icon that even other competitor teams are honoring you. That says it all.
05-28-2018 02:24 PM
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junrice Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Coach, thank you. You gave Rice lots lots of happy time.
05-28-2018 05:07 PM
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owlaholic Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
Thank you OG. Rice will be lucky to ever get someone to positively affect the university again like you. Future Noble prize winners included.
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2018 08:17 PM by owlaholic.)
05-28-2018 05:28 PM
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Almadenmike Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Thanks Coach Graham!
(05-28-2018 05:32 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  If I recall correctly from a post on from the Coaching Caravan thread, Jk responded to a question regarding the coaching search by saying he expected to announce a replacement for The OG within 7 - 14 days of the season ending, whenever that occurred.

Correct, Walt.

(05-16-2018 08:58 AM)BSWBRice Wrote:  Tanqtonic summed things up quite nicely. A few other notes:

...

-Kaarlgard said we should have a new baseball coach named 10-14 days after the end of the 2018 season, whenever that may be.
05-28-2018 05:47 PM
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