Friday, July 29, 2011

One Last Time

by Travis Jarome
July 29, 2011 - 11:10 am

Goodbyes are always the hardest, and today is no exception. I was going to bid adieu quietly this afternoon, but after four years here at TROY it is just too hard to say goodbye without saying something.

The journey started almost five years ago to the date with a simple e-mail from Ricky Hazel, and it has turned into so much more than that. The friendships that have been built here will last a lifetime, not just with co-workers, but with student-athletes, coaches and even the fans.

Inevitably someone will be left out if I tried to mention all the names that have meant something to me over the time I have been associated with the Trojan Nation. And for that I apologize.

I was told when I interviewed that people around TROY were like a family, and since day one I can tell you that is exactly how it is. Once you walk in the door as an administrator, coach or student-athlete it is just that, one BIG FAMILY. Everyone cares for one another, each sport cares about the next; and that is how it should be.

TROY will always hold a special place in my heart. I have only missed a handful of games since I got involved in college athletics, and most of those (with the exception of one) have been here at TROY. My daughter was born at the beginning of the 2008-09 basketball season, and she has become one of the biggest fans of TROY athletics. We have brought her to basketball games, football games and softball contests here in Troy, and she has loved every minute of it. She has become a part of this family here at TROY, and that will never change.

This morning I had a lot of time to think about things that have happened at TROY, special people that have touched my heart and places I have had an opportunity to visit thanks to the athletic department.

I have had a chance to visit places such as our nation’s capital, the US-Mexico border in Brownsville (TX) and New York among others. I have also to been to places such Dallas (although much of it was spent in the airport) and Denver.

But none has ever meant more to me than to drive down 231 to get to office. I have never referred to my job here at TROY as work, it has always been fun for me … I mean, come on, really, I get to be at athletic events all the time.

It has never been about me, and I know I am rambling a little, but it comes with the territory when you realize the time is drawing near. It has always been about the program … how can I get the name out more? How can I get our athletes more attention? Will this look good for the fans? Things like that. I have always, and will continue to be for the student-athletes, coaches and fans. Whether it be from publications or from websites, those are things that the public sees. Those are things that drive interest when nothing is going on around you.

I had a chance recently to redesign TroyTrojans.com. Were there things I would have changed after the design went up, sure, there are always things you want to change. But the one thing I took pride in was the fact that people said they liked it, that is all I cared about. I redesigned the site for the FANS, and the day it launched I crossed my fingers that people enjoyed it.

My last project here was the Football Media Almanac, something a little different than what we have done here in the past. It was a lot of work, but there were a lot of people involved in the process; but like I said before as long as it is liked by the fans and everyone else involved than we have done our job.
I will never forget the first week, or month, I was here at TROY. My first day, I was thrown into a webcast for a home volleyball match with Taylor Bryan and then just a few weeks later I was on the air with Barry McKnight on the road for men’s basketball. I have had a chance to be on the air with those two individuals, as well as Buddy Johnson, Jerry Miller and Jason Wright over time – and it makes a broadcast so much easier when you have people that care about TROY as each one of those people do.

I know I am going to leave a lot of things out, and a lot of people out, but those people know who they are since I have gone by and visited over the last few days.

To the women’s basketball team and to the softball team, my two teams who I have media responsibilities for, I have enjoyed my time with each of you over the years. Good luck to all of you during the upcoming season and your careers, I know you will do well.

To all of the administrators – Steve Dennis, Sandy Atkins and Ricky Hazel especially – thanks for giving me the opportunity to work here at TROY and believing in me. Without all of you, not just those three, thank you for what you have done for me and the path you have shown me over the last four years.

To the behind scenes people – Matthew Carlo, Mike Frigge, Tony Ferrante and so many others – thanks for all your hard work and assistance in things when they needed to get done and for being a sounding board when things didn’t go well.

To all of the student workers, past and present, thanks for everything here in the Media Relations office. Things would never get accomplished at events without your help. To all of our graduate assistants since I have been here – Jason Wright, Taylor Bryan and Matt Mays – thanks for serving your time. You played a great hand in the success of the office.

To the coaches, thanks for everything. It has been a pleasure to work with each and every one of you at some point during my stay here. To Michael Murphy, Craig Kennedy and Jennifer Wasson you have been like a family to me since my time here – Murph, you and Craig have been just that as you were the first ones I worked with when I got here. To Melanie Davis, Sharon O’Mara and Mick Hokanson – I enjoyed the one season I got to work with you, and saddened I will not get another.

To the student-athletes, past and present – thanks for being a Trojan and doing what you do. To Kevin Glackmeyer and the rest of the photography staff, thanks for giving me some outstanding shots to work with over time.

And finally, to all the fans, thank you for enjoying the things we did here in the Media Relations Office. Without you there would be no drive. I hope you enjoy the 2011 Football Almanac, the new layout of the Game Day Illustrated and the Women’s Basketball Almanac for next season.

I will see many of you at home events as a fan this season, and look forward to it as I move on to Montgomery Catholic beginning Monday. I leave behind the media world to run an athletic department.

I will leave it at this … I sent a message this morning and it said this “If you ever need anything, and I mean anything at all don’t hesitate to call. Thanks for the memories over the last four years. I will always consider everyone associated with the program family.”

As I do on all of my broadcasts … Thank you for listening, it’s been fun. Until next time Trojan Nation.

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