May 24, 2024


Like All Trades

Longtime former Express-News sportswriter Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin attained a profession crossroads in summer months 1986.

An education and learning reporter for the San Antonio Categorical-Information since 1984, Griffin, then 27, was torn among continuing with that defeat or accepting a extensive-standing present from the newspaper’s sports editor to sign up for his workers.

“He was a very very good education writer,” claimed David Flores, assistant athletics editor at the time. “He was properly highly regarded by the lecturers and superintendents, experienced good sources. He realized how to include the colleges. But he cherished sports.”

Right after a extended evening chatting it around while downing beers at a in the vicinity of-downtown dive bar with Flores and another sportswriter, Griffin moved to sports, exactly where one of his first key assignments was masking the drama-filled 1986 Planet Series amongst the New York Mets and the Boston Crimson Sox.

For additional than 25 decades, Griffin excelled masking a wide range of sports beats for the Specific-News, like a prolonged, job-defining stint reporting on faculties during which he served as president of the Football Writers Association of The usa and as a voter on the Related Press soccer and basketball polls.

Griffin died July 8, a 7 days shy of his birthday, at his house in Corpus Christi surrounded by his loved ones after remaining diagnosed just months previously with a unusual variety of most cancers. He was 62.

“He apologized to me for possessing it,” mentioned his wife of practically 25 many years, Nedra “DeDe” Griffin. “He explained, ‘I cannot even think I’m not acquiring a opportunity to conquer cancer’s ass a person much more time.’ ”

As a toddler, Griffin had a Wilms tumor, a widespread sort of childhood kidney cancer, that resulted in the removal of a kidney. The tumor also led to scoliosis and back again surgical procedure.

“He was instructed not to run marathons and do other things, and guess what he did?” Nedra Griffin reported. “He went off and lived.”

Information of Griffin’s dying triggered an outpouring of social media responses from colleagues, coaches, previous athletes, media relations staffers, close friends and readers about his professionalism, dogged reporting and reputation for remaining a single of the nicest fellas in the organization.

“So really sorry to master Tim remaining us also soon,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione tweeted. “He was a consummate specialist, a wonderful journalist, a terrific individual & so nicely-revered all over the Big 12. He could ask the hardest of questions but nonetheless taken care of all people with regard. RIP Tim.”

In addition to masking faculties for the Express-Information, Griffin experienced stints as the conquer author for UTSA, the San Antonio Athletics Basis (now San Antonio Sports activities), the Houston Oilers and quite a few San Antonio small league football groups.

Griffin covered all 5 Spurs NBA championship collection victories and their loss in the 2013 Finals. His total-website page “Beyond the Game” pieces showcased his ability to unearth vibrant, away-from-the-court tales well-liked with audience keen to get a you-are-there feel through these closely adopted events.

Griffin coated 12 nationwide championship football online games and five Remaining Fours. He gained many awards for his producing, which involved many deeply claimed enterprise parts, throughout a vocation in which he acquired paychecks from, Sporting activities, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Corpus Christi’s KRIS-Tv set and the Corpus Christi Caller-Situations.

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

Recognized affectionately to mates as “Willie T.” – William Timothy Griffin was his complete identify – Griffin was revered for his unequaled get the job done ethic and enthusiasm for journalism. No matter the assignment, he approached it as if he was teaming with Woodward and Bernstein to crack Watergate stories, pounding his laptop keyboard in a decided manner that reverberated close to the newsroom or press box.

“He worked for us all through football Friday evenings, and he’d get on the phone late at night and begin contacting Dairy Queens for scores we have been missing,” Flores said. “One time he even referred to as a sheriff’s workplace. He would acquire so much pride in stating, ‘I obtained our final score!’ Then he’d say, ‘Dave, can I assistance you with anything at all else?’ ” I’d say, ‘No, Tim, we’re all right,’ but he’d still keep coming back with, ‘Is there nearly anything I can do?’ ”

Barry Robinson, sports activities editor at the Specific-News when Griffin moved to sporting activities, admired how good and comprehensive he was as a reporter. Sitting on Griffin’s desk for many years was a Rolodex filled with cell figures for everyone from previous 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 particular to 10,” Robinson stated. “Every time I imagined he had more than enough resources, he would make 5 extra phone calls. His sourcing was impeccable.”

Robinson continue to can not get around how “lucky” he was to have Griffin “choose us.”

“We couldn’t go out and just out-bid other newspapers for excellent talent,” Robinson reported. “We had to employ at a very modest amount and hope we could discover someone who could blossom into some thing distinctive. With Tim, it was clear to all of us who understood him as a cityside reporter he was likely to be exclusive. You can’t have that much know-how and that variety of do the job ethic and not be unique.”

And Griffin’s work ethic was legendary.

“A whole lot of people today have expertise, but they just never get the job done very tricky, and that was hardly ever, under no circumstances a problem with Tim,” Robinson stated.

Flores recalled a tale told in the sporting activities division for many years about Griffin coming into the office environment dressed in a suit an hour prior to his wedding at the Little Church of La Villita to do some work.

“It was a Saturday early morning and (the department clerk) noticed him and explained, ‘Hey, Willie T., what are you accomplishing below? Are not you meant to be getting married?’ And Tim claimed, ‘Yeah, but I’ve got to acquire treatment of some Massive 12 things,’ ” Flores said. “I don’t know if I ever observed a person extra driven in our business enterprise. And he loved college soccer. He could acquire or depart covering the professionals, but he cherished school football.”

Longtime Austin American-Statesman sports columnist Kirk Bohls shared numerous press boxes with Griffin.

“He was not at any time a person who just mailed in his story,” Bohls reported. “He was a consummate qualified who gave his all. He approached journalism with a seriousness you do not often see in reporters. He was not the flashiest author. But he was as far from sensationalist as you can get, a nuts-and-bolts reporter who received his stuff straight. He was accurate and comprehensive.”

Bohls also savored Griffin’s upbeat persona, wry perception of humor, and unpretentious method.

“He experienced an affable character that drew individuals toward him,” Bohls reported. “He had this significant old smile that form of took above his encounter it seemed like.

“This may perhaps seem corny, but he was just kind of male you cherished remaining all around. He started off again in the times when we have been always ultra-aggressive, but you hardly ever got that sense with Tim. You felt like you were being element of a trade or a job with him. He was hardly ever cynical. He could be funny, really wry and straightforward. But really do not be misled that he was effortlessly duped or everything. He didn’t have a Pollyanna technique to his job at all.”

Griffin had excellent passion for other journalists. Whilst doing the job beneath Robinson, he typically frequented the boss’ office environment to argue for superior procedure of co-personnel as although he had been their union consultant.

“He was the biggest cheerleader for most people on that employees, particularly (fellow college or university writer) Clifford (Broyles),” Robinson reported. “He could have been president of Clifford’s admirer club.”