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Friday, February 17, 2012

A Coke With No Ice, RIP, Buddy

A Coke With No Ice, RIP, Buddy
I just found out that my former assistant and life time friend Ron Koppenhaver died. Ron had a great mind for basketball, a great resource to me as a young coach;  but he was a better friend. We worked together at El Dorado High School in the Wichita, KS area.

One of my favorite coaching pictures is of Ron holding my son Andrew as the team accepted the sub state championship trophy in 1990. Andrew was four years old at the time and could be a pain in the ass, sometimes, during a game; but Ron always took care of him.

Time is of the essence, they say, and Ron deserved more years than 67. The hands on the clock, in Ron's case, have stopped much too soon. But he touched a lot of lives in the years he was given. The last time I saw him, a year ago last spring, he was intently putting a group of athletes through a spirited workout. They say he coached up until the very end, a lifer, for sure.

I always kidded Ron about being cheap. He was worse than me. When we would go out he always told the waitress "to hold the ice" in his coke. "I am not paying for frozen water," he would say in his defense. Tonight, in honor of Ron, I will have a coke with no ice. RIP, buddy.

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