Monday Mission, 2/27/2012
We're all aware that Samford's head football coach is Pat Sullivan, a man who won the Heisman Trophy, raised (with his wife, Jean) a wonderful family, beat the odds against cancer, and wears his celebrity status like a pair of old blue jeans. However, we may not be fully aware of how Pat handles loss . . . such as losing a great recruit who was already in the fold to be a Bulldog this fall.
Days after a signing ceremony at Spain Park High School, Ben Tamburello received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy and an offer to play football for Navy. Attending the Academy was a lifelong dream for Ben, although he had committed to come to Samford. According to a local newspaper account, Ben said, "Coach Sullivan is one of the best men I've ever known. He graciously allowed me to check it out. He supported me and that meant so much."
Pat’s response? "I've known that family forever. I helped recruit his dad, I sold life insurance to his grandfather. But whether it's Ben or Denzel Williams (another recruit), I really want what's best for these kids. Am I disappointed I won't coach Ben? Yes. But, in the end, this is what's best for the young man, and that's what we're all about."
The world is better because Pat Sullivan models grace.
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.