Fifteen years after he arrived at Colorado State University, Sonny Lubick’s tenure as head coach of the CSU football team has ended.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to watch the press conference on Tuesday, which was by far one of the most refreshingly down-to-earth conferences I have ever seen.
Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk, of course, had a typical prepared statement in which he gave praise for what Sonny had done here at the university while making it clear that Sonny would no longer be head coach of the Rams.
Sonny, however, did not have a typical, boring, well-prepared statement.
Instead he took his opportunity in front of the press to teach us all one final life lesson, whether he realized it or not, about something so often overlooked in our world today — giving thanks. In fact, for a majority of his press conference, Sonny spewed out thanks to literally everyone he could think of, from his players to their mothers, from his assistants to his bosses, from the university to the community.
He thanked people like Mike Shanahan and Clint Hurdle. He thanked his wife Carol Jo, of course, and his family. He even thanked the press. I don’t even know Sonny Lubick and yet he somehow managed to thank me — not me specifically, but he did give praise for the band of which I am a part.But what struck me most of all was the sincerity with which Lubick gave out all of this praise.
There is no doubt in my mind that Sonny had nothing but heartfelt gratitude toward all of those he thanked and if he had the time, he probably could have gone on for hours with stories upon stories of fond memories he had with every person that he has come in contact with.
Yet what is so inspiring about all of this is that Sonny had nothing but thanks on the day that it was made official he was fired.
Sonny did want to come back for another year, but Athletics Director Paul Kowalczyk believed it was time to move on to better things and so Sonny was shown the door. I’m sure plenty of people are outraged and will express their discontent in the upcoming days over the decision to fire Lubick after 15 years, and I’m not sure I would disagree with them.
I’ll be honest, if I were Sonny I would probably be upset myself and about the last thing I would want to be at this point would be thankful.It’s a good thing I’m not Sonny. By showing nothing but gratitude on what is probably one of the more difficult days in his life, Sonny has given the people of this community, university, those who know him well and those who barely know him at all one last lesson on what it means to be a man of character, respect and dignity.
It is these lessons that will carry on long after Sonny is gone. This, more than the six conference titles, the nine bowl appearances and all the wins in between, is the real legacy that Sonny will leave with all of us here at CSU.
So let me end this by saying something that probably does not even need to be said — thank you Sonny Lubick.
Not simply for the coach you have been, but for the role model you have been and will continue to be to this community simply by being yourself.
You, sir, have made me proud to be a CSU ram.