May 21, 2024

latecareer

Education is everything you need

Longtime former Express-News sportswriter Tim Griffin

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Tim Griffin reached a occupation crossroads in summer months 1986.

An instruction reporter for the San Antonio Convey-News because 1984, Griffin, then 27, was torn concerning continuing with that conquer or accepting a extended-standing present from the newspaper’s sports editor to be a part of his workers.

“He was a incredibly very good instruction writer,” reported David Flores, assistant sports activities editor at the time. “He was effectively revered by the lecturers and superintendents, had superior resources. He understood how to deal with the faculties. But he beloved sports.”

After a extensive night speaking it above whilst downing beers at a near-downtown dive bar with Flores and a further sportswriter, Griffin moved to sports activities, where 1 of his first main assignments was masking the drama-filled 1986 World Collection amongst the New York Mets and the Boston Purple Sox.

For far more than 25 many years, Griffin excelled covering a wide variety of athletics beats for the Specific-Information, which include a lengthy, career-defining stint reporting on schools throughout which he served as president of the Soccer Writers Association of The united states and as a voter on the Affiliated Press soccer and basketball polls.

Griffin died July 8, a week shy of his birthday, at his residence in Corpus Christi surrounded by his spouse and children immediately after staying identified just months before with a unusual kind of cancer. He was 62.

“He apologized to me for getting it,” reported his wife of just about 25 decades, Nedra “DeDe” Griffin. “He said, ‘I just can’t even consider I’m not obtaining a opportunity to beat cancer’s ass one additional time.’ ”

As a toddler, Griffin had a Wilms tumor, a popular type of childhood kidney most cancers, that resulted in the removing of a kidney. The tumor also led to scoliosis and back medical procedures.

“He was instructed not to operate marathons and do other matters, and guess what he did?” Nedra Griffin mentioned. “He went off and lived.”

News of Griffin’s demise triggered an outpouring of social media remarks from colleagues, coaches, previous athletes, media relations staffers, good friends and viewers about his professionalism, dogged reporting and reputation for remaining one particular of the nicest fellas in the enterprise.

“So very sorry to master Tim remaining us also shortly,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione tweeted. “He was a consummate qualified, a excellent journalist, a fantastic particular person & so nicely-highly regarded all through the Large 12. He could question the hardest of inquiries but still addressed everybody with regard. RIP Tim.”

In addition to masking schools for the Categorical-News, Griffin had stints as the beat writer for UTSA, the San Antonio Sporting activities Basis (now San Antonio Sports), the Houston Oilers and a number of San Antonio minimal league soccer groups.

Griffin lined all five Spurs NBA championship collection victories and their reduction in the 2013 Finals. His complete-web site “Beyond the Game” pieces showcased his skill to unearth colorful, away-from-the-court docket stories well-known with readers keen to get a you-are-there experience through those people intently followed occasions.

Griffin coated 12 nationwide championship football game titles and five Ultimate Fours. He acquired several awards for his writing, which integrated many deeply reported organization pieces, through a occupation in which he acquired paychecks from ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated.com, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Corpus Christi’s KRIS-Tv and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

He broke in as a cub reporter with the Plano Star Courier in 1983.

Recognised affectionately to mates as “Willie T.” – William Timothy Griffin was his comprehensive title – Griffin was revered for his unequaled work ethic and enthusiasm for journalism. No make a difference the assignment, he approached it as if he was teaming with Woodward and Bernstein to split Watergate tales, pounding his laptop computer keyboard in a identified method that reverberated about the newsroom or push box.

“He worked for us through football Friday nights, and he’d get on the cell phone late at night time and begin calling Dairy Queens for scores we have been lacking,” Flores claimed. “One time he even known as a sheriff’s office. He would just take so much satisfaction in indicating, ‘I bought our very last rating!’ Then he’d say, ‘Dave, can I assist you with anything at all else?’ ” I’d say, ‘No, Tim, we’re all proper,’ but he’d still keep coming again with, ‘Is there everything I can do?’ ”

Barry Robinson, sports editor at the Categorical-Information when Griffin moved to sporting activities, admired how honest and complete he was as a reporter. Sitting on Griffin’s desk for several years was a Rolodex crammed with mobile numbers for absolutely everyone from former San Antonio mayor and U.S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros to Candelario “Candy” Pena, the San Antonio Missions longtime concessions coordinator.

“His sourcing would rank 10 on a scale of one to 10,” Robinson stated. “Every time I considered he experienced more than enough sources, he would make 5 far more calls. His sourcing was impeccable.”

Robinson even now just cannot get over how “lucky” he was to have Griffin “choose us.”

“We couldn’t go out and just out-bid other newspapers for good talent,” Robinson reported. “We experienced to retain the services of at a very modest total and hope we could discover someone who could blossom into some thing particular. With Tim, it was very clear to all of us who knew him as a cityside reporter he was heading to be unique. You just can’t have that significantly know-how and that variety of function ethic and not be distinctive.”

And Griffin’s perform ethic was famous.

“A lot of people have expertise, but they just really do not perform quite challenging, and that was never, in no way a dilemma with Tim,” Robinson reported.

Flores recalled a tale instructed in the sports activities section for decades about Griffin coming into the business dressed in a match an hour just before his marriage at the Very little Church of La Villita to do some perform.

“It was a Saturday early morning and (the office clerk) observed him and reported, ‘Hey, Willie T., what are you accomplishing below? Are not you intended to be receiving married?’ And Tim stated, ‘Yeah, but I have bought to get treatment of some Large 12 stuff,’ ” Flores reported. “I don’t know if I at any time observed a individual much more driven in our small business. And he cherished faculty soccer. He could choose or depart covering the pros, but he beloved college or university soccer.”

Longtime Austin American-Statesman sporting activities columnist Kirk Bohls shared plenty of press bins with Griffin.

“He wasn’t ever a male who just mailed in his story,” Bohls said. “He was a consummate specialist who gave his all. He approached journalism with a seriousness you really do not always see in reporters. He was not the flashiest author. But he was as significantly from sensationalist as you can get, a nuts-and-bolts reporter who received his things straight. He was exact and extensive.”

Bohls also enjoyed Griffin’s upbeat identity, wry feeling of humor, and unpretentious fashion.

“He had an affable character that drew persons towards him,” Bohls claimed. “He experienced this massive outdated smile that variety of took over his experience it appeared like.

“This may well seem corny, but he was just variety of person you liked getting all-around. He started off back in the days when we were being usually extremely-aggressive, but you by no means obtained that sense with Tim. You felt like you had been component of a trade or a profession with him. He was hardly ever cynical. He could be humorous, pretty wry and trustworthy. But don’t be misled that he was conveniently duped or anything at all. He didn’t have a Pollyanna strategy to his occupation at all.”

Griffin had terrific affection for other journalists. Although functioning under Robinson, he generally visited the boss’ workplace to argue for far better remedy of co-staff as though he had been their union consultant.

“He was the greatest cheerleader for every person on that employees, in particular (fellow university writer) Clifford (Broyles),” Robinson stated. “He could have been president of Clifford’s fan club.”

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