Monday, March 9, 2009

Letter of thanks to the U of A men's basketball coach

Russ Pennell
(U of A Interim head coach)

Dear Mr. Pennell,
I hope by now that many U of A basketball fans have taken the time to express their thanks to you in appreciation of the outstanding achievement, you and your coaching staff have achieved this year. If not, then please accept this letter as my effort to congratulate your success.
In terms of winning records, yours will not rate high, but in terms of what you have accomplished, few, if any, teams have shown such growth. No one expected a winning season. The thinking was to get through this year as best we could and look forward to future years to re-create the Arizona tradition. Day by day, week by week, you have nurtured these young men to where they believe in themselves. It is obvious there is a strong bond between you and them. I have been at every home game once the season started. I have been amazed at the steady growth. Your big three; Budinger, Hill and Wise have greatly improved their performance as compared to last year and the supporting cast is making the contributions necessary to complement the big three.
The game last Saturday was a classic. Your guys just would not let this game get away from them. They fought to the last minute. For once, I agree with Mr. Hansen, the fans expressed their love as best they could. No one wanted to leave. The icing, of course, was the seven points contributed by Bagga and Onobun. Take those away and you only win by seven points.
I hope that this win is enough to get us into the NCAA tournament. If not, then a win against ASU on Thursday, regardless, you deserve to be a head coach here or somewhere else. I am one of your fans who hope it will be here. To that end I wrote to Mr. Livengood several weeks ago. He, no doubt, will not rest until he can find a “name” coach. Why he can’t see with his own eyes what the fans have seen, is beyond me.

Good luck and my thanks,

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
March 9, 2009

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