Back in 1991, Hughes High School athletic director Charlie Patrick took a chance and hired a young and untested coach named Gus Malzahn to be the defensive coordinator for the school’s football team.
Malzahn never forgot Patrick’s generosity, and this past Christmas the Auburn Tigers head coach sent his former boss a package containing tickets to the BCS Championship Game.
According to AL.com, Patrick thought the tickets were a prank at first:
I thought it was some kind of joke they were pulling on me. My family loves to pull jokes. I didn’t know what they were up to, to tell you the truth. It was a total shock, I wasn’t expecting it.
Malzahn said he learned a lot from Patrick, a former football coach himself, during his first year at Hughes:
I learned a lot from him. When you get to this point, you always think back to the people that helped you get here, and very blessed with (former Hughes assistant) Rob Coleman and all the coaches in high school that helped me get to a spot to be able to coach college.
AL.com did a big piece last summer about Malzahn’s time at Hughes, which you should go check out.