There have been a lot of thanks for the work that RK and TF have put in to get us the Big 12 invite and deservedly so.
I want to go back a little further though. I am a UH alum (attended 2005-2008). Dave Maggard was the athletic director back then and was key in bringing us out of our time of deepest despair after losing out on the Big 12 in the mid 90s. He hired Briles and Sumlin who started back our winning tradition in football and Tom Penders who started our rise back in basketball. The student fan base he was working from, alumni enthusiasm, facilities, and recent winning were all at low points but he made fantastic hires in football and men’s BB and had the energy, urgency, and belief in a “better UH” every time I saw him at a game or pep rally. He started our upward trajectory nearly 2 decades ago.
“Give 'em the claw the claw the claw, give 'em the claw the claw the claw, give 'em the claw, give 'em the claw, go coogs go!”
our football and basketball programs were desolate wastelands before him… not only were we horrible, we were had no money and horrendous facilties … he turned us around with almost no resources what so ever. He is the unsung hero in all of this but he probably did the hardest part… without him no of this is reality
getting briles for pennies on the dollar was a masterpiece…getting penders to take over the basketball program despite rat-infested facilities was a work of art…
its 10x hardeer to go from horrific (with no money) to good than taking a good team (with tons of fans/billionaire donor) to being great
he should be getting a ton more credit that he probably has been
It was just a UH chant he brought out once at one of our pep rallys at the AAC one of those years to try to stir up some tradition (similar to the TH thing before football games between players and students). It never stuck and got some funny looks when he did it (including me) but it was memorable and showed me that he had a passion to try to jump start the apathy of our school and that we could achieve greater things as a university.
One of first things Maggard said when he got here “i know we should never lose to Rice”
He rubbed some people the wrong way but he defiantly was what we needed at the time. I wrote him to say i was sad to see him go, he wrote back said “Don’t worry, there are big things ahead for UH”
DM was an olympic shot putter with a history with ESPN. I got to know him well visiting in his office and during away trips I took with the staff and the team and at functions for supporters, staff and coaches I hosted. At one of these Dave awarded me a football signed by the team. I still have it.
One time visiting in his office he told me we had offered the SEC millions (I don’t remember the exact amount) for membership in the conference. He couldn’t pull it off but he tried. Dave was a man of vision.
I haven’t visited with him in some time. I hope he is doing well.
He told me that they were in the Rice weight room working out.
And Dave Maggard walked in. Dave yelled out something like, “Go Coogs” or “Eat 'em Up Coogs,” smiled and walked out.
My friend said every was dumbfounded at first and then started grousing about Uncle Dave.
My friend tells the story better, but it was very funny.
Another story: I was standing near the Coogfans’ tailgating area near Robertson with a couple of people (don’t remember who). And Uncle Dave pulled up in a golf cart, got out and introduced himself and just started talking. And then it was me who was dumbfounded.
Tony Levine did the same thing to me following a spring game. Wanted to know if my kids and I enjoyed everything. Could UH do anything to make it a better experience, etc.
Similar here but it was at the Coach’s Show at Irma’s downtown. As soon as we walked in and were seated, Maggard came over to shake hands and introduce himself. Great person and ambassador for UH Athletics.