FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Before today’s lacrosse final four, Furman introduced Richie Meade as its first men’s coach.
The former Navy coach offered some thoughts on Memorial Day, which are included below. Needless to say, it is an emotional subject for Meade, who choked up at times during this portion of the discussion:
“The next thing I’d just like to mention is this is Memorial Day. Excuse me. Everybody’s pretty aware of where I’ve been the last 25 years and the Naval Academy and West Point have done a tremendous amount for me. Being around the student-athletes, being around the midshipmen especially, has really done a lot for me and taught me a lot.
“I have and do cherish all the interactions with the kids. Not necessarily the games. The outcome of the game, the winning and losing, the press conferences, all that stuff is part of the job. The early morning workouts, in the weight room, all those significant conversations that you have with young men that you never forget for the rest of your life and they never forget, that’s one of the things I’ve missed.
“One of the things I’m proud of is every single individual I’ve coached at West Point and at the Naval Academy have gone to war, and their sacrifices have been significant. We’ve been very fortunate and blessed. We lost one of our men, Brendan Looney, and everybody’s well aware of that. I’m thankful to the NCAA that Brendan Looney is going to be recognized on Monday. I’m thankful to the NCAA that Jimmy Regan who was an outstanding student and athlete at Duke University, was an Army Ranger – both he and Brendan were special forces warriors – lost his life in defense of our nation’s cause.
“We should never forget it. This is a great day for me, and it’s a great day for my family, but this weekend is about celebrating the sacrifice of a tremendous generation of kids that defended our freedom. The lessons I learned from those young men are going to be a constant source of motivation and inspiration to me as I move forward and I will think of that every day the rest of my life.”