April 11, 2017
Dear Coach Steve Fisher,
When the news broke that you were retiring I was shocked. Even though I knew this day was going to come, when it actually arrived I was unsure how to react. Change is difficult and losing the mainstay, our head coach, of the Aztecs Men’s Basketball Program is something that will be hard for many Aztecs fans, including myself, to digest.
I figured this was the perfect time to say thank you. Thank you for everything you have done for me even though we have only met three times. You have no idea how much you affected my life. You and all the Aztecs that you recruited made me love the program and the game of basketball. Because of you I decided to make a girls and boys basketball team at the elementary school I worked at. Without knowing it you were my mentor. I tried to emulate everything you did and tried to be like you when I was on the court.
You made me love this team and this program. Because of you I decided to create a website where I could talk Aztecs basketball. My passion for this program and the pride I have for my alma mater stem from you.
I mentioned that I have met you three times and I remember each one. The first time I met you was when I was a junior at San Diego State, about 2003. I saw you walking across campus and even though I did not know that much about San Diego State basketball I knew who Steve Fisher was. I walked by and said hi and you responded and hoped that I would head to a game. I did and that was my first experience of Aztecs basketball.
The second time was after losing in the semifinals of the Mountain West tournament to New Mexico in 2013. After the loss I headed to the airport to fly to San Diego and who was on my flight, but you and the team. As I searched for a seat I saw a window seat next to your wife Angie and I took it. I was so nervous that I did not say a single word the entire flight. Then as we got back to San Diego and you waited for your players I decided to thank you for everything you had done for the program and you graciously shook my hand.
My final time meeting you was at an Aztecs event at Petco Park two years ago. By this time I was a rabid fan and my passion for the program was unmatched. I went up to you and we spoke for a minute or two and walked away with an admiration for the man you were. You are a first class person and I realize and appreciate that now that I am older. It does not surprise me to hear people talk about how genuine you are. Their focus is on you the person first and your basketball career second, which speaks volumes about who you are.
From afar you have affected my life and built a passion within me for San Diego State. The pride that I have for my alma mater is due to you. Thank you for everything you have done for my university, my city, and me.
I wish you the best in retirement coach and I hope to see you around. May you enjoy the time off with your family and may every day bring you joy.