In 1985 Butch Perchan was the athletic director at Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana, a small NAIA school. Butch gave me my first job after college as the head soccer coach, head of the Greek system, and dorm director of the largest dorm on campus. I made $3,000 and free room and board, and I thought I was in heaven. I can remember sprinting up the steps to my office to recruit soccer players and lining the field for the games. It was a great job, and I learned a ton about a lot of things.
Butch was the greatest boss I ever had. He worked hard, he made sure I worked hard, and he made every minute of it fun and funny. He cracked more jokes in five minutes than anyone I’ve ever met.
I left Tri-State in 1987 to go to DePaul University, but Butch and I stayed in touch for a few more years and then I lost track of him. I caught up with him on Google in 2008. He had been the AD at a few Division II schools and then he took the job as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs at a small university in Florida. I had a speech near his school so we met for lunch and then he gave me a tour of the campus. It was a really beautiful school that I had never heard of. He showed me the soccer fields and then the basketball court where the team was practicing. He told me the goal was for the team to play in Division I. Everywhere we went people yelled out, “Hey, Butch, how’s it going?” I felt like we were back at Tri-State University.
Last weekend his school, Florida Gulf Coast University, made history as the first-ever #15 seed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Yesterday FGCU was on the homepage of cnn.com, USAToday.com, and espn.com. Their website had more than a 500% increase in hits in one day.
Butch was ready for his moment. After being an athletic director for more than 30 years he is now a big part of NCAA history, and I’m really, really happy for him.
Are you ready for your moment? Are you ready to handle massive success at a moment’s notice? You never know when the tide will turn in your favor, but you have to prepare for your moment every day.