The Coach – Honest and Best

Posted by on November 20th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

The man came with a track record, came with his integrity intact, came ready to work, and came to succeed.
This has been some decade and a half ride for Steve Fisher, just given another contract extension, covering three seasons at San Diego State.
The Aztecs basketball program has probably saved the entire athletic program,, not just as a money-maker, but as an identity maker nationwide.  That happens when you win, win yearly, win cleanly, and win with student athletes who stay out of trouble.
Steve Fisher did such a great job at Michigan, only to have it end so badly, victimized by a slimy alum, tampering with players, funneling money to them, with no regard for the rules, nor the victims it impacted, the kids, the program, the heritage of the university, and an innocent coach.
You may have loved watching the “Fab 5” at Michigan, but somewhere in your mind you should still hold a grudge for what Chris Weber, Juwaan Howard, and all those other guys wearing Maize & Blue did in Ann Arbor.
It cost Steve Fisher a dream job, drove him from the college ranks.  Time away in the NBA did not salve the wound.  It instilled the fire he wanted to coach and influence college kids, on the court and in life.
Has he ever at San Diego State.  From a 5-win season, and an (0-14) conference record that first year, we have a sold out arena, “the Show” in the stands, and important games to watch and cheer for every spring.
The Kawhi Leonard’s of the world get to the NBA.  The Jamal Russell’s and the Xavier Thames get to play abroad.  Others get their degree and get on with their life’s work.  
College basketball is, yes, 20-wins seasons, 9-in a row, and yes, NCAA Tourney berths, and yes, being a darling to the networks as a superb West Coast program, and yes, a phenomenal money-maker for the financially challenged athletic program.
Steve Fisher stands for so many more things, as a coach, leader, father figure, administrator, counselor, and as a special human being.  
In the glory of him standing on a ladder cutting down the nets, after another Mountain West Conference tourney title, or a March Madness victory, my heart aches, when you remember what he is dealing with off the court.  The community is so attached to the man, for the other part of his life, caring for a loving son, Mark, wheelchair bound, fighting that personal battle against ALS.
In a city where names like Dan Fouts, Philip Rivers,Tony Gwynn are held with such reverence, I hope our community will remember this coach, that leader, for who he is, what he has done, how he has conducted business.
Steve Fisher, contract extension in pocket, great coach, greater human being.
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