Richie Moran was a legend in the lacrosse world and the Lacrosse Hall of Fame is named after him. But what makes him truly legendary was the relationship he had with his players throughout the course of our lives.
He visited me when I was waiting tables in my home town after college trying to figure out my life. He told my manger he was with the FBI and he needed to talk to me. I might be in trouble. When I arrived to the reception-area, terrified as can be, there he was laughing hysterically. He also visited me when I opened a bar in Atlanta. And I'll always remember him coming to see me speak on Marco Island a few years ago. His health was starting to fail but he still showed up and it was so special having him there.
The amazing thing about Coach Moran was that he did this for countless teammates and members of the Cornell lacrosse family. Hundreds and hundreds of former Cornell lacrosse players have stories of Coach Moran coming to their events, showing up at their practices if they were coaches, being involved in their lives and knowing key details about their wives and kids.
Cornell Lacrosse has always felt like one big family and it's because Richie Moran made us all part of his family and connected us to each other and to him.
What made Coach Moran so unique and special was not just the few years you played for him in college but the relationship you had with him during your entire life.
When you signed up to play for him at Cornell you weren't signing up for him to be your coach for four years. You were signing up to have him be your coach and friend forever.
I am eternally grateful for the impact he had on me. I love him and will miss him forever.
Richie always said, "It's great to be here," and I know he's saying that in heaven right now.
I recently shared in more detail what made him so special in a 15 minute ESPN radio interview. I hope you will listen to the meaningful and funny stories I share and the lessons leaders, coaches and teachers can learn from him. You can listen here or via Youtube here.