So Long Sonny

By: Jesse Kurtz
By: Jesse Kurtz

A legend by trade, a class act by nature. Sonny Lubick helped shape me as a person and professional over the last 11 years.

When I arrived at Colorado State University as a freshman in 1996, one of the first things I did was take a walk over to the Athletic offices to see if I could catch a glimpse of Sonny Lubick.  The "Man" on campus, one of the reasons I decided to attend CSU. 

That morning I walked inside the building and climbed up the stairs to the football office, walked around the corner...... and there he was.  I nearly bumped into him.  I fumbled to say hi (as if I had just met Jennifer Aniston).  Before I could get a coherent sentence out of my mouth Sonny said, "Hello.  Good morning.  Can I help you?"  I told him I was lost (I didn't want to freak him out by telling him the real reason I was there).  He politely asked me where I was trying to get to, and pointed me in that direction.  He also said if I needed anything else, just let him know.  WOW!  Sonny Lubick talked to me and said I could call upon him in the future.  That was cool.

Over the next 4 1/2 years (hey, I wasn't on the five-year plan), Sonny and I crossed paths a lot.  He the head football coach, me the football reporter for the college television station.  We did plenty of interviews and I was in his hair all the time at practice and after games.  Not matter what the situation, Sonny always had time for me (and everybody else too).  He never had a bad thing to say about anybody.  The sky was always blue, his players always like family.  That was Sonny Lubick.

He went onto win over 100 games at a school that had no business competing at that high of a level.  The facilities at CSU are below average, but he somehow convinced kids that CSU was a great place to play football.  His persuasion started and ended with him.  He was the reason to go to CSU.  He made it okay to attend CSU.  He made it great to attend CSU.  I am proof of that.  Today, I am proud to say I am a CSU alum, in part because of Sonny Lubick. 

From my first few days on campus, to my career as a TV reporter, Sonny Lubick has never forgotten my name (I still run into him from time to time).  He didn't have to, but that is the type of guy Sonny is and always has been.  A man who cares so much about others.  That is why it is so tough to see him leave CSU after being forced out by the Athletic Director.  Sonny deserved better.  If it truly was time to go in a different direction, CSU should have given him one more year to say proper goodbyes.  So what if they went 2-9 again.  He deserved better after 15 years of a magician-like effort, transforming a doormat of college football into a national contender.  I deserved better.  Our paths may never cross again and I probably won't get to say goodbye or say thanks.  Thanks to a man who took time to make a young 18-year-old feel comfortable away from home for the first time.  Thanks for helping me feel proud about who I am.

Thank you Sonny Lubick for all you have done.  CSU is a better place because of you.  I am a better person and professional because of you!  Wishing you, Carol Jo, Michell, Matt and Marc all the best!

Jesse Kurtz, KKTV Sports Anchor/Reporter

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  • by Mike McDowell Location: Florissant Colorado on Mar 22, 2008 at 07:32 AM
    Great article on Sonny. Sorry I didnt see it sooner. CSU (athletic director) did more harm with his treatment of Sonny. I was the 1st football coach at Doherty High School and followed football avidly after my retirement. I graduated from C.U. but bought season tickets to the Rams because of Sonny and his program. I too had the pleasure of meeting Sonny in person as my daughter briefly dated Matt Lubick. He made me feel like I had known the family for 20 years and I spent only 3 hours with him at one of his after game get togethers. I am sick that they treated him like they did and will probably never attend another CSU athletic event even though I had 2 daughters graduate from there. I enjoyed reading your atricle and feel ashamed that I spent a lot of money and treated him that way. Unfortunately future athletes at CSU will be the losers.
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