I just hung up from an interview with Coach David Cutcliffe (from Duke) for SiriusXM College Sports Nation.
He's the man in my book.
He's coaching royalty.
As I prepared for the interview I started to get excited. For one, I'm knee-deep in college basketball right now, so football just gives me a jolt…right to my heart, but it's more than that. It's the fact that every single time I'm around Cut I know I'm in the presence of greatness. I have been ever-so fortunate to cover him as a sideline reporter for the ACC Network for the past two years.
And what makes him so great in my book, and so many others, is the fact that he wants to be great, that he is not satisfied.
"I've been coaching for 40-something years and you haven't seen anything yet. You just wait."
I mean how can you not get fired up when you hear someone who's achieved such amazing success utter those words.
Woo hoo! I was ready to conquer the world after he rattled that off.
I'm so fortunate that I get to be around greatness like this. It's not lost on me. It touches me to my soul and becomes the very fabric of my being. It then permeates everything I do.
Saban. Beamer. Cutcliffe. London. Stallings. Bowden (all of them, esp. daddy). Dye. Sherrill. Malzahn. Lashlee. Chavis. Fedora. Dooley. Muschamp. Fisher. Helfrich. Richt. Smart. Donnan. Meyer. Johnson. Spurrier. Foster.
Just a smidgen of the coaches that have left an indelible mark on this girl over the years. I don't have enough blog space to name them all. But all of them bring (or brought) the same thing to the table: heart, grit and an unflappable desire to continually get better, thereby warding off complacency.
As I waited on coach to call in, I felt my heart start to beat a little faster in my chest. I looked down and smiled, because while I might not know much, I know this: when I stop getting excited/nervous to be in the presence of greatness, I'll hang up my mic and let someone else have a crack at it.
Yes, today is a good day.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have mountains to climb and dragons to slay.
Duke's spring game can be seen on ESPN3 February 28th from 10-12 AM EST.
-Rachel Joy Baribeau