Weber State Alumni Classic: Former Wildcat coaches remember their legacies

Saturday , August 26, 2017 - 9:23 PM

BRETT HEIN and BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — It wasn’t just former players who converged Saturday at the Dee Events Center for the second Weber State Alumni Classic.

Former coaches Phil Johnson, Ron Abegglen and Joe Cravens took in the festivities — then helped coach the alumni teams — as part of the celebrations.

The coaches spoke with the Standard-Examiner about their memories and legacies.


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PHIL JOHNSON

“I was 27 years old and I got the head coaching job ... Those memories come flooding back, how young I was ... We ended up having success because we had good players and a good coaching staff. All those memories come flooding back.

“I had some really good players. I had Willie Sojourner, I had Justus Thigpen, I had Brady Small, who was one of the best points guards I ever coached ... Gary Strong is a player from this area, he played at Bonneville High School, and he ended up being a starting forward on one of the best teams to ever play at Weber State.”

RON ABEGGLEN

“I think about all these guys often because of their commitment to Weber State and the team and to me. It’s nice to see them again, I don’t get to see them that often.

“The things a lot of the players at Weber State did was commit to the school and the game itself. I couldn’t ask for more than that. I’m fond of that. There’s a lot of them out here tonight who were great for this school.”

JOE CRAVENS

“I think of all the players I coached … I was involved for nine years here and there’s a lot of good men who’ve come through here who’ve gone on to be very successful and that’s what drove me to coaching — to mentor those kids to where a lot of them are today — and that’s very rewarding for me.

“It’s an honor to know that I helped hang at least one banner here and was part of a team that when undefeated in the Big Sky, that’s only been done twice. That’s part of the Weber State legacy and what makes me part of that legacy.”

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