Former football coach Sonny Lubick was absolutely charming during Friday's press conference announcing the field at the new on-campus football stadium at Colorado State will remain named after him.
First, let me start by saying that I went to CU - but listening to Lubick talk about CSU and seeing how the crowd responded to him was just heartwarming.
People whistled and cheered as Lubick stepped up to the podium Friday afternoon.
"It's certainly an unexpected honor and, I don't know, I told [my wife] Carole Jo this isn't going to be such a big deal," Lubick said humbly. "Joe Vasos [in the public relations department] has a way of making someone look pretty darn good, too good, in fact."
The crowd broke out in applause.
Lubick coached the CSU football team for 15 years and couldn't say enough about his time with the team.
"It was a great privilege and a tremendous honor to be the coach of CSU. Man, I cherish that every day," Lubick said. "Every friend I have in this city - I think there's more than one or two - I met them all at Hughes Stadium. Met 'em through the coaching."
He said he was only given a few minutes to talk and then went on for about 20 minutes, but no one seemed to mind at all.
"I enjoyed going to the booster meetings and talking. I don't know if anyone listened to me, but we always had a few laughs anyway," he continued.
Lubick, now 79, joked about his age and the changing times.
"I know how old I'm getting because when I go around town, I always meet somebody - I know they're over 60 - and they always say, 'Thank you for what you've done for our college.' But the young people, they're off, and they're going to make this thing better, faster and greater," said Lubick.
Lubick had people in the crowd laughing out loud as he reminisced about his fond memories. It's clear he misses it - a lot.
"I wish I could still be coaching. I wish I could still do it. I think I could be valuable," Lubick said.
"I think I'd be a better coach today than I was 10 years ago because I think I learned to appreciate people more and care for 'em and love 'em more. Love your student. When I first started coaching, we couldn't say that word. But at the end I said it a couple times," Lubick said, with a big, warm smile. "I have this statement, 'They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.'"
Lubick said the only thing he didn't like about coaching was being stuck inside on beautiful fall Sundays, watching tape from the games.
"It was 70 degrees and it was a nice day and we'd be watching tape," Lubick laughed.
He joked that he never noticed how nice the fall weather was in Colorado until he stopped coaching in 2008.
You could really feel the love he has for the college and the whole community and you can tell it is reciprocated. (Don't believe me? Watch the short video clip above!) Just listening to him for a few minutes turned me into an admirer (although I will always remain a Buffs fan!)