Remembering Ron Damron|
Ron Damron pictured above assisting a Big 12 officiating crew.
Jan. 7, 2013
by Blayne Beal
As I write these words, it just doesn't seem possible.
Ron Damron, one of the strongest and hardest working men I have ever known, passed away today at the young age of 71.
Just six months ago, Ron retired from Texas Tech after 33 years of service and was eager to begin the second chapter of his life with his wife Sue, his children and five precious grandchildren.
Today, his death leaves all of us with another important lesson: Life is precious and tomorrow is not ours to claim.
I had the tremendous opportunity to work alongside Ron for the last 12 years. From football, basketball, baseball, softball and many other sports in between - he and I spent a lot of hours together. When we weren't working events together, we were sharing a wall as his office was next door to mine.
Ron once told me that working in athletics event management was like climbing a mountain. You were never sure if you would ever see a downhill slope.
We joked about that mountain a lot whether it was 5:15 a.m. on a Saturday before a home football game or midnight following a Big 12 baseball game. The hours were very long and the work tedious, but the company was worth it all.
If you have attended a Texas Tech sporting event in the last 30 years, the behind the scenes work was the mastermind of Ron and his staff. Ron would be the first to tell you that the credit belonged to his team because that is the type of person he was. However, those of us that knew his attention to detail and his desire to run a first-class event appreciated his work on a daily basis.
Over the course of his career at Tech, which began as the men's tennis coach in 1980, Ron was consistently praised by his peers as being one of the best event managers in the country. Texas Tech sporting events were run with such meticulous effort that just about every opposing team and coach that came to campus took note.
Ron took the safety and well being of fans and teams to heart and in this day in age, that made everyone associated with Texas Tech Athletics feel at ease knowing that he was in control.
Ron was dedicated in every thing that he did. He served our country as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and as a flight instructor and finance officer. Following active duty, Ron spent several years as a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.
His love of sports is ultimately what led him back to Texas Tech. Ron was a two-year tennis letterman at Texas Tech before earning his degree in 1964. He went on to play and coach tennis in the U.S. Army for 10 years before returning to his alma mater as the head tennis coach in 1980.
Undoubtedly, the love of his life was his wife Sue. The two had been married for 44 years and you could just see the love and respect in their eyes when they were together. Their first date came at the old White Pig on Fourth Street and they were married within a year.
The hardest part of today is that his time with his five grandchildren was cut short. He loved them dearly. I hope one day they will know what a wonderful person their grandfather was and that they inherit his work ethic. That trait alone will carry them a long way in their lives.
Today, our hearts are heavy with the loss of a coworker and friend. The Spirit of Raiderland feels the loss of one of its own.
But alongside a heavy heart comes a notion of celebration, for Ron has finally reached the top of that mountain.
Guns Up Ron! Go rest high on that mountain.