Q: This has been a family affair. Just talk about Linda.

A: The first date we ever had was back in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech at a football game. I was in the press box, and she was in the stands because women weren't allowed in the press box. She probably would have volunteered to help, but women weren't allowed. And after the game we had to drive to Roanoke with press releases to put in the mail, and we also took the game film to Roanoke to be developed. Literally right from the beginning here she helped in every possible way.

Q: Any harrowing road trips?

A: You should ask CJ. In 1991, his first really great team, the team that went to the Sweet 16 when Lamont (Strothers) was a senior, we had a game scheduled at Guilford. It was a Saturday game and we'd had an ice storm here. Terrible. And he was so anxious to get that game in because we were having such a good season, that he actually got us a bus — we normally traveled in vans — and it took us eight hours to get from here to Greensboro.

On the way down we stopped and had lunch in Emporia and going back to the bus I slipped, went on my back and I believe I actually cracked a couple of ribs. I could barely breathe, but I didn't say anything. We won the game — Lamont made a last-second shot. Then we had to turn right around and come back. Another eight-hour trip, and at one point just after we left Greensboro on I-40, the bus slid into the median and back onto the road.

Q: Do you have a greater appreciation of Division III athletes since they compete without scholarships?

A: That's one of the reasons I've been here so long. What these kids do, receiving nothing in return except maybe a pair of sneakers. They do it all just because it's what they really, really love to do. And that makes me feel like I want to do as much as we can do for them.


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