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Memories of Sam Goldman

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Memories of Sam Goldman

Celebrating the legacy of "Oh Great Hero"

  1. Sam Goldman's Official West Coast Conference Memorial runs HERE:  http://www.wccsports.com/genrel/061714aac.html

     

    Memories of Sam Goldman

    By Ryan McCrary - Senior Director, Communications

     

    I was not up to the task. This was my first thought when I learned the news that my friend and mentor Sam Goldman had passed away. After all, Sam has forgotten more about life, athletics and writing than I know now. Where does one even begin to describe the legacy of a true giant in the communications industry?

     

    As a history major it was always drilled in me to start at the beginning and so, with a nod to the Jesuits who taught me, here we go.

     

    After serving in the United States Navy as World War II was concluding, Sam Goldman joined a generation of veterans pursuing an education via the G.I. Bill. Sam attended City College of San Francisco and was a classmate of Bay Area sports legends Burl Toler and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and Olympic medalist Ollie Matson.

     

    After stints as a sportswriter and educator (a role he never completely left), Sam entered the world of sports information with characteristic ceaseless energy and boundless enthusiasm.

     

    Sam was the first SID for the California Basketball Association and told the story of a league in its infancy, albeit an extremely prodigious one. Fresh off back-to-back national titles, San Francisco rolled to the Final Four in 1957 - the third straight for the Dons and multiple schools made deep tournament runs.

     

    Goldman chronicled the CBA, soon to become the West Coast Athletic Conference and finally the West Coast Conference, in various capacities throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

     

    A CoSIDA, San Francisco State and City College Hall-of-Famer, Sam Goldman epitomized every superlative and positive in athletics.

     

    Although he officially retired in 1989, he was more active in retirement than many contemporaries even contemplated. Sam, along with his lovely wife Adele, volunteered at hundreds upon hundreds of Bay Area sports events ranging from San Francisco State to the Giants and a bit of everything in between.

     

    Sam was social media before it was invented. Sam engaged. Sam embraced the positives when they were at times difficult to find. Sam was tireless. Sam was devoted. Sam was beloved. Sam will be sorely missed.

     

    The first time I met Sam Goldman was my second week at the University of San Francisco. The Lady Dons were hosting Stanford women basketball and I received a credential request for Sam and Adele. Despite the initial passionate objections from my boss at the time, I credentialed them and so began a relationship with two of the most wonderful people I have ever had the rare privilege to meet.

     

    I was not exactly at my best at our first meeting. I was trying to unjam a copier. It was not going well. I was growing unhappier by the moment. Enter Sam Goldman. Within minutes he had introduced himself, offered me a peppermint and promptly set about clearing the jammed copier.

     

    Over the course of more than a decade, Sam answered the phones courtside, welcomed media members, copied stats and just generally anything else my inner control freak would allow him to do.

     

    But Sam brought so much value to every area he touched. Sam knew everybody in the Bay Area sports world. If you played football, basketball or baseball in the Bay Area, from 1950 on, Sam either knew you or was on a first-name basis with your head coach. 

     

    Sam did not limit himself to just volunteering at the USF. He was an institution and a fixture at Stanford, Cal, Saint Mary's and Santa Clara. He brought wit and wisdom and inspiration to every media workroom. When you saw Sam set up with his box of butterscotch, peanuts and peppermints you knew it was a big event.

     

    Sam and Adele made such a remarkable impact in my life. I was not unique in this respect. They touched hundreds of lives and their reach was tremendous.

     

    When it seemed like the walls were caving in, Sam was a constant source of encouragement. Sam shared some of the greatest moments I have ever seen in collegiate and professional athletics to some moments where I am thankful no video footage survives.

     

    Without fail, Sam would refer to me as either "coach" or "Oh great hero", which stands as one of the biggest compliments of my life. After all, how often do your heroes refer to you as "hero"?

     

     

  2. Sam Goldman Remembered via Twitter

    1. Bay Area sports media mourning the loss of Sam Goldman, one of the nicest, most genuine and positive people ever to grace a press box.
    2. Sorry to hear about passing of Sam Goldman today. Always appreciated his professionalism, smile at @DonsAthletics events.
    3. Spent 20 minutes trying to find photo of the late Sam Goldman. Fitting that I can't find one. Truly selfless gent, always promoting others
    4. RIP Sam Goldman. What a lovely person. I will have a butterscotch in your honor.
    5. Anyone who ever met Sam Goldman in a Bay Area press box met a wonderful, sweet, generous man. He died today, and will be missed.
    6. Rest in Peace, Sam Goldman. Loved hearing stories that he, Jerry Coleman & Charlie Silvera would tell in the Press Box. He will be missed.
    7. Saddened to hear Bay Area SID legend and @CoSIDAnews HOFer Sam Goldman passed away today. So helpful to us young ones finding our ways (1/2)
    8. Sad news for all local sports scribes. Sam Goldman, a fixture at Stanford athletic events and press conferences, passed away. This one hurts
    9. Sam Goldman passed away today..a very sweet friend to all in the press box..enjoyed helping during big events the last few years..truly nice

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