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February 2001 entries


Name: The McGuire Family
E-mail:
City/State:
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001 at 10:49:47

Message:
These stories and messages are a great comfort to us. Thank you for your love, support and prayers. - The McGuire Family

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Name: Daniel Blinka
E-mail: djblinka@students.wisc.edu
City/State: madison, Wisconsin
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001 at 15:36:57

Message:
Al McGuire was a great basketball coach. He is a college basketball legend and an icon for the sport, the city of Milwaukee, and Marquette University. He will be remembered with the highest esteem by marquette fans and sports fans alike.

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Name: Charles Alexander
E-mail: HdDoc@aol.com
City/State: San Francisco, CA
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001 at 16:18:15

Message:
I remeber Al being the Guru of the hardcourt whenever he came to NYC to recruit. Everyone wanted to play for Marquette back in those days because of the NYC recruitment network and the exposure of MU on TV, especially with those funky uniforms. He was a man ahead of his times and knew how to use the talent and skills of inner city b'ball players. Rest in Peace AL. You will never be forgotten. Especially by those inner city kids that you gave a chance to shine.

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Name: Kay Dewane '67
E-mail: edukate@earthlink.net
City/State: Boulder, CO
Date: Friday, February 02, 2001 at 16:29:23

Message:
Born and raised in Wisconsin, I have always been around sports and a huge sports fan--Packers, Badgers...nothing comes close to Marquette basketball with MCGuire. How much we loved him and the Warriors. Peace to the McGuire family, his friends and the players whose lives were likely changed by him. A special prayer to old friends, Brian Brunkhorst, Bob Wolfe and Jim Lagenkamp.

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Name: William Finley
E-mail: Tigerfan1975@webtv.net
City/State: Montgomey, Alabama
Date: Saturday, February 03, 2001 at 02:55:31

Message:
I was fourteen years old when my father and I watched Marquette defeat UNC in the national title game. I remember we jumped up and down hugging each other after the game was over. Living in Alabama not allot of people could understand what all the fuss was about as I prouldly wore my national championship tee shirt. Then one day somebody did ask me why I was wearing that shirt and I said "Because I am from Milwaukee". From that day on when ever I would see coach Mc Guire on television I would quickly point out to people just who he was and what he accomplished as a college basketball coach. In 1996 in was living just outside Louisville, Kentucky attending a Louisville College basketball game at freedom hall when I noticed coach Mc Guire on the floor talking to some police officers. I quickly tried to get his attention and when I finally did I said to him "Coach it was seashells and baloons". In reference to a comment that he made to sports illustrated in a 1977 issue. I took a few pictures of him as he walked away. Tears came to my eyes. You people in this state think that Bear Bryant is the most important coach to have ever coached any sport, but as far as I'm concerned Coach McGuire will always be number one in my heart.

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Name: Jim Wiegand
E-mail: jimaldave@hotmail.com
City/State: Lorain, OH
Date: Saturday, February 03, 2001 at 09:23:17

Message:
Even though I had no personal relationship with Coach McGuire, I was a high school student during his hey-day as coach. I admired him greatly for his enthusiasm and for his true love of the game. Condolences to his family, friends and the University.

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Name: Terry and Larry Wawzenek
E-mail: koalater@yahoo.com
City/State: Forest Park, IL 60130
Date: Sunday, February 04, 2001 at 19:16:02

Message:
We're DePaul alumni who watched quite a few DePaul vs. Marquette games and couldn't help but respect, admire and enjoy Coach Al McGuire! We rooted for his team and were so excited to see the 1977 NCAA victory! We continued to enjoy Coach McGuire as he moved on the broadcasting. We feel as if we knew him. We offer our sincerest sympathies to his family, friends and all who he touched in the Marquette community, as well as around the world. He will be greatly missed! (When our oldest son decided to enroll at Marquette, we felt we kind of knew the place already because of Al McGuire.)

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Name: John Swanson
E-mail: jonswansonpickle@aol.com
City/State: Ravenna, MI 49451
Date: Sunday, February 04, 2001 at 19:39:00

Message:
I was lucky enough to be a freshman at Marquette during Al's last season. He was great for basketball and always a class act. He helped put Marquette on the map. Whenever I say I graduated from Marquette, people say isn't that where McGuire coached. Everyone loved him as a coach and broadcaster. Al always went out on top and on his own terms. I'm sure at his death, it was no different. We will all miss Al, and wish his family well and will remember them in our prayers.

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Name: Rick Lewandowski
E-mail: richard.lewandowski@gm.com
City/State: Detroit/MI
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001 at 10:01:49

Message:
As a basketball fan for more years than I want to admit, I'll never forget that the year in which Marquette and McGuire won the NCAA, they were beaten by another Jesuit institution, the University of Detroit, coached by old motor mouth, Dick Vitale. We had "Thunder and Lightening" (Terry Tyler and John Long), Dennis Boyd and Terry Duerod (the pride of Highland Park) --- all local talent. McGuire was a class act not only as a coach and basketball analyst, but more importantly as a person. We could use more of his warmth, candor, and common sense in the collegiate coaching ranks today. God bless you, Coach.

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Name: Brian K. Wagner
E-mail: bkwags@hotmail.com
City/State: Stoughton, Wi
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001 at 15:42:58

Message:
I was wondering if anyone has a copy of the ESPN Tribute that was on TV February 1st. I meant to tape the show but missed the final two hours. Please contact me if you have or can make a copy for me. I would be happy to pay for your time and materials. Let's go Warriors Brian (Class of '81)

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Name: Jane Maurer
E-mail: stephen9@home.com
City/State: Arizona
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001 at 19:48:18

Message:
I was a student at Creighton University the years Mr. McGuire coached at Marquette. Of course we were proud that a small Catholic Jesuit University became well known because of him. You may not remember, but there was prejudice against Catholic schools back then and Al McGuire made us proud! May he rest in peace. We loved you Coach.

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Name: Michael Class, S.J.
E-mail: michael.class@marquette.edu
City/State: Milwaukee, WI
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001 at 20:07:30

Message:
I was a student here from 1970 through 1974, and Coach Al was the embodiment of Marquette's identity. We all tried to emulate his tough, brash style. His teams united us, and pushed us to be better than we thought we could be. Thank you, Al, you are missed here. Mike Class, SJ

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Name: Keith Adams
E-mail: upnadams@msn.com
City/State: Burlington, Vermont
Date: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 at 04:20:30

Message:
I once interviewed Al by phone as he called from the airport on a particularly dreary rainy day in Milwaukee and he joked that: "just remember, the crowd at your funeral is always dependent on the weather. If I died on a day like today, there would probably be about five people there." It was a nice laugh, but for Al an SRO crowd among the Marquette faithful (even in the heart of winter) was the fitting way for the Harley-rider to go. I know his protege Rick Majerus has had a tough time of late, but I was happy to see Coach Rick got to spend some time with Al in his final days. I also remember Al's broadcast call in the closing seconds of the 1979 DePaul-Indiana State Final 4 game when Ray Meyer elected to play for the last shot without calling a timeout, quoting from Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," as he watched in delighted amazement at the "white knuckler" before him: "Ya gotta know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em." That was vintage Al.

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Name: John Liston
E-mail: jliston@tampaby.rr.com
City/State: Tampa, FL
Date: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 at 09:42:08

Message:
My wife and I both graduated from Marquette in 1970. We were lucky to have "experienced" the Al McGuire phenomenon first-hand and have always thought we were better for it. To this day, we cannot meet someone who, when they find out we went to Marquette, asks: "Was that when Al McGuire was there?" When we answer yes, we inevitably hear: "That must have been exciting!" It has not surprised us that he is being remembered as such a powerful force, not just in college basketball, but in life. About three years ago, I was an usher at our Saturday night vigil mass here in Tampa, when I looked over, and there was Al was sitting in the back row. He was in town broadcasting a game the next day. After mass, I was handing out church bulletins, and I introduced myself to Al. His eyes lit up when I mentioned Marquette, and he then proceeded to talk to my wife and me for about 30 minutes outside the church about every subject under the sun. By the time we finished talking, everyone else had left and the priest locked up the church. We tried to take him to dinner, but he graciously refused, as there was a broadcast rehearsal coming up. In those thirty minutes, we got to know a genuinely nice classy person even better. Thanks Al for stopping to talk to us that night! We will always remember you!

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Name: Scott Corbitt
E-mail: scott_corbitt@dewine.senate.gov
City/State: Columbus, Ohio
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 at 10:05:29

Message:
Even though I attended Marquette long after the McGuire left, you could always feel his presence was there. I remember seeing him several times during my time at MU. At halftime of one game in 1992 they celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the NCAA Championship. My best memory of him, was the opportunity I met him. I was attending the 6 P.M. Mass at Gesu, "a.k.a. Drive-thru sacrament," and I slipped into the pew. 3 minutes before Mass a gentleman sits right next to me, and it was Coach. What a feeling!!! I will never forget the time I share 30 minutes with Coach Al. God Bless you Coach!!! Long live the Warriors, from a member of the last Warrior class; 1994.

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Name: Cheri & Steve Judkins
E-mail: cheri.judkins@harley-davidson.com
City/State: Sullivan, WI
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 at 14:13:04

Message:
It was a great honor to have Coach McGuire and his granddaughters visit our house to ride our horses. The girls were truly excited and Coach McGuire was very happy we extended the offer. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends. He truly was a caring man that took time for those closest to him.

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Name: Patty Desing O'Connell MU '80
E-mail: pitzputz@wi.rr.com
City/State: Milwaukee, WI
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 at 15:35:20

Message:
I was a freshman when MU won the NCAA but I was a lifelong Warriors fan. Al made my family, especially my dad ,crazy for Marquette. Every year my dad would tell us this is the year they win it all and we'll go downtown and see the college kids run down Wisconsin Ave. Well it turned out I was one of the college kids doing the running. Al was a great coach and a great person. Our condolences to the McGuire family. Our prayers are with you.

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Name: Denis C. Riordan
E-mail: DETTIGERS68@AOL.com
City/State: Braintree, Ma.
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 at 20:44:46

Message:
My first memory of Al McGuire was watching him on television in 1969 as his Marquette Warriors went against a University of Detroit team lead by Spencer Haywood. I remember that Al's son Allie was on that team. I became an Al McGuire fan that very day. I also remember the disappointment which I felt when Rick Mount hit a long range jump shot in the final second of an NCAA tourmament game that same year to beat Marquette (Mount's shot might have sent that game into OT, with Purdue winning. My memory is slipping). Purdue went on to the NCAA final, losing badly to UCLA and Lew Alcindor. During my four years at the University of Detroit I saw three U of D - Marquette clashes. My freshman year, 1974, the Titan Toddlers hung close for a while, with a freshman named Walter Smith giving Maurice Lucas all that he could handle on the boards, but the superior side prevailed. My junior year, Butch Lee hit a jumper at the buzzer to beat the Titans in Detroit. In 1977, however, Dennis Boyd repaid the Warriors with a last second shot from the top of the key with one second left in the game and sent Dick "Disco Dick" Vitale and all of Detroit into a wild celebration. These games were great events, involving great student athletes. Whatever about the events and the ball players, it was Al McGuire who dominated the scene. All eyes were on him as he paced court side, moving his arms and shouting instructions like no one else could. He was the show; a man of great charisma and character. I, like Al McGuire, am the son of Irish immigrants. I admire him for want he accomplished as a coach and a broadcaster. But more so, I admire him for all that he gave to others. He was a good and kind man who made an outstanding contribution to his country and to collegiate athletics. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

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Name: Bridget Riordan
E-mail: nomarzgurl13@aol.com
City/State:
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 at 20:54:08

Message:

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Name: Raymond Mack P.T.,M.A.
E-mail: rmackptmu@powercom.net
City/State: Manitowoc,Wisconsin
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 at 23:18:13

Message:
As I was recovering last week from the flu, I reflected on how I should write to Al McQuire and wish him well. Though it had been over twenty years since I last talked with him, the memories were quite vivid. Sadly, the next day they reported that he had died. I was looking forward to attending the funeral on Monday but the icy weather put an end to that. My son and I planned on attending the funeral and then take in the rest of the MU campus. I wanted my son to have a sense of what I had felt so many years ago working for the Marquette Warriors basketball program. I hoped that at the funeral that the people who knew and loved him would provide my son with that feeling. For all the accolades and accomplishments Al had achieved in his career, the one shining moment for a student athletic trainer working in the program was when we walked together one morning into the old gym. He called me by name and asked how things were going in physical therapy school. Needless to say I was dumbfounded that the coach of Division one college basketball program knew my name and what field of undergraduate study I was pursuing. All I could say was "okay coach" and he gave me a smile. Considering all the great games he coached, the practices, the yelling, and the jokes, that moment is the one that stands out the most, because it represents to me who Al McQuire was. All I can hope is that my stories about Al and my experiences with the Warrior program will provide my son with a small sense of who Al McQuire was. Rick, Hank, Mark, Greg, Dave, Earl, and rest of the guys, sorry I couldn't make it. Raymond Mack P.T.,M.A. MU Physical Therapy 77 Student athletic trainer 75-77 " Go Warriors"

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Name: Kurt Templeton
E-mail: kpatempleton@prodigy.net
City/State: Granite Bay, CA
Date: Thursday, February 08, 2001 at 12:18:28

Message:
Hello Al, Strange the affect one has on another. I sit here today in my office and near to my desk, on the wall is a poster with your 1977 championship team highlighted. The center of the poster says "Marquette Warriors 1977 National Champions". It's strange in that for the past 24 years I have looked at this every morning and thought of you. Although I never had the honor of meeting you, your character has been a positve influence on my life daily. Now when I look at this poster, I'll still smile and recall the wonderful memories, but there might be a small tear in my realizing that a special time has ended. Would you mind if I incorporate into my vocabulary "Seashells and Balloons? Goodbye and Thank you AL. Kurt Templeton

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Name: Keith Lester
E-mail: klester@bader-rutter.com
City/State: Whitefish Bay, Wisc.
Date: Thursday, February 08, 2001 at 14:41:40

Message:
Al McGuire knew timing was everything. As a freshman in 1977 who paid little attention to college hoops before coming to Marquette, I patted myself on the back for my own good timing and luck to be part of an NCAA champtionship season and Al's last hurrah. Sitting in Gesu Church at Al's visitation brought it all back. To those who weren't around I tell them Al left an indelible impression not only on everyone who knew him, but on anyone who had the good luck - and timing - to be at Marquette and enjoy that sweet season. Keith Lester Jour '80

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Name: Henry Rodrique
E-mail: henry_rodrique@merck.com
City/State: Harleysville, PA
Date: Thursday, February 08, 2001 at 20:13:40

Message:
It seems like yesterday when I began my freshman year at MU. Camping out for Warrior BB tickets, treks down Wells Street to the games, a noisy Milwaukee arena, postgame celebrations at the Gym, ND and Depaul rivalries, "We Are Marquette!", "Give em Hell Al!" Then finally, the UNC Charlotte desperation heave, and solving the Four Corners of UNC. Thanks for the memories coach, you're in our prayers.

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Name: m ringwood class 75
E-mail: mrniblick@aol.com
City/State: syracuse ny
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2001 at 12:07:50

Message:
I spent four wonderful years at Marquette University and I think about those times every day. My oldest daughter is a high school senior just accepted into the nursing college at MU. Wherever she goes I hope her memories are as vivid as mine. I take great pride in my diploma from MU and I can report that acquaintances always ask as their first question, " were you there when Al was the coach? ". He has given me a small bit fame simply by having been a student at the college. I now live in another basketball town ( Syracuse ) and I can inform all the readers tha Al is known and loved in this town. Years ago Al was in Syracuse to coach an all star type game against Billy Packer. He was downtown signing autographs. He signed one of my yearbooks on the two open pages which was a photo of just Coach Al embracing son/player Al Jr. Thank you for all the memories. My thoughts are with the entire family and I hope you are all sitting down somewhere reliving yours, smiling, laughing, and crying, all the time thinking "seashells and ballons".

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Name: Rich Wood
E-mail: rwood@surebridge.com
City/State: Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, February 11, 2001 at 00:22:13

Message:
Growing up in suburban Milwaukee in the Seventies, I always knew that Marquette had a great basketball team. I may have been too young to truly grasp the significance of the NCAA title, but I still suspect that was the first vague stirring of my decision to attend Marquette. As I grew older and became a fan, I always looked forward to Coach McGuire's broadcasts, and always wished he could have coached a little longer... I've found a lot of wisdom in the things he said, and moreso, the way he lived what he said. Thanks, Al.

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Name: PAT RUSSONIELLO, LIB ARTS '80
E-mail: RUSSONP@CO.LANCASTER.PA.US
City/State: LANCASTER, PA
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2001 at 15:41:25

Message:
Like so many others whose comments I read here, I was a fortunate one. I was a Freshman in 1977 when Al and Bo and Jim and Bill and Jerome and Butch brought the championship home from the Omni. Like so many, I ran down West Wisconsin Avenue in glee that Semifinal Saturday and that rainy Monday night. The thing that I will always treasure about Al was his sincerity and GENUINENESS. For instance, I saw him early one morning about two years after he left MU but was still very much a part of our community. He was not afraid on that Saturday morning to look like he just woke up as he pulled into the M+I Bank branch on West Wisconsin Avenue to do some weekend banking. I told him my mother loved him and that he had made my grandmother's last year before she died a joyous one as she found a love for college basketball. He was genuinely moved. And then he went his way, a man of purpose. My MOST treasured story has to do with an Easter basket given to me by a wonderful girl I was seeing at the time, (Ruth Ann Mc Garity), the Jesuit residence, the Pabst Mansion, and an Easter card sent to me by my mother. It's a long story. I'm sure Al remembers it. In closing, I will quote my good friend, Tim Wilson, a fellow 1980 grad. "Well, right about now Al's givin' 'em hell in heaven!!!" We will miss him.

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Name: Thomas A. Blondis, M.D.
E-mail: tblondis@peds.bsd.uchicago.edu
City/State: Chicago, IL
Date: Friday, February 16, 2001 at 18:30:09

Message:
To the McGuire family, I'm going to miss him more than I miss my own father. I can't imagine the loss you are feeling. Al was the greatest, color he brought to the game, and the laughs. Most of all the great recruiting and coaching he did for Marquette. God Bless you. Sincerely, Tom Blondis

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Name: Tom Andrews
E-mail: thomas.andrews@mu.edu
City/State: Chicago, IL
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 at 15:48:54

Message:
As future teacher and coach, I can think of no better person to look at as a role model. Coach McGuire did things his way with a focused mind and a heavy heart. I hope to always keep things in perspective the way he did. God Bless.

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Name: Sabrina M. Nucciarone
E-mail: smnucciarone@yahoo.com
City/State: Tustin, California
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 at 17:01:08

Message:
I began at MU as a transfer student August 1978...I would have been in my first year at Marquette had I begun my college career there. In spite of missing the winning season, my friends had experienced the championship year; the name and spirit of what Al McGuire did for the students (athletes and non-athletes alike), the university, and the Milwaukee community is the same as what the aroma of apple pie does for autumn. I cried reading the written eulogy Rick Majerus wrote and was published in the newspaper. Warriors (once one always will be) from the era understand the essence of what Al and his teams did for us...and Rick is the Warrior that would know the best. I just hope MU students and a revitalized Milwaukee have the same opportunity in the future to celebrate their personal and professional "hoop dreams."

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Name: Daryl P. Braun
E-mail: dbraun@genevaonline.com
City/State: Lake Geneva, WI
Date: Friday, February 23, 2001 at 07:29:34

Message:
I started at Marquette in 61 and graduated in 66 so I saw AL at the beginning of his great MU legacy. I came to appreciate his stature more by getting to know him through the character in the broadcast booth. It was great to enjoy his basketball knowledge and his emotional enthusiasm. I was fortunate to be at the game and witness his tribute last night. My heartfelt thanks to his family for sharing AL with us. What a great standard for all of us to respect, admire and emulate.

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