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.