Within two years of that meeting, I was sitting at his desk. I had been recruited by Jack Lengyel to become the Sports Information Director at Marshall. Joe McMullen hired me, but Jack was the one that talked me into joining the Young Thundering Herd staff.
I recall opening up the middle drawer, one of those old wide metal types. Inside were letters addressed to Gene that had never been opened. Most were requests for media guides, nothing personal or of consequence. But they were for him, and no one had the heart to open them up. That told me that this would be a very personal journey. Over the next two years I enjoyed meeting his family, and having two of his sons work with Joe Wortham and me in the SID office. Mike and "little Gene" were great kids and I know I was too young to really understand what I should and could have done to really, really help them.
Over the next two years people who knew Gene would stop by the office and offer kind words. It was very apparent that people admired him and missed him. I think today he would be very proud of Marshall, his family, and would be so excited to be right there in that pressbox calling the play-by-play. Maybe he is.