Thursday, May 27, 2010

Johnny Orr is Going Through Tough Times

If you ever have met former Michigan and Iowa State basketball coach Johnny Orr, it's difficult not to like the guy. He's straight forward, humorous and is a people person. I can vouch that many Iowa State fans loved him when he was coaching in Ames. I was there for two of those years and saw people's reaction to his stepping on the floor to Johnny Carson's Tonight Show Theme. It was simply electric.

Coach Orr even reached out to me one night after a game. He and I were leaving the basketball area at about the same time and we spoke. He would get into his car a few steps later, whereas my car was probably 2-3 blocks away. It was your typical cold, Iowa winter night. He invited me to join him in his auto and he would deliver me to mine. At first, I resisted, but he was persistent. So, I agreed. He could have jumped into his car and left me to exercise on the cold night, but Coach Orr is a nice guy.

I say all this because he is going through some tough stuff. He recently lost his 54-year-old daughter to Lou Gehrig's Disease and his wife suffers from dementia. It's difficult not to cheer for anyone going through hard times like that, but especially when it's someone you appreciate.

Hang in there, Coach Orr. People are cheering for you again.

1 comment:

Paul Delger said...

Does anyone have encouraging Coach Orr stories to share?