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Mr. Amaechi checking in for the last time

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It's been a long time coming. As I'm sure everyone should know by now, I came to this team as a walk on my freshman year in 2004. My original intentions were to join the track team to stay in shape for the following football season. Because we were experiencing the D'Angelo Williams reign, I landed myself a permanent spot on the track team. For two years I felt that some people doubted me and thought that I couldn't be a valuable asset to the team, which I thought was odd being that I was slowly becoming one of the top performers on the team and were improving my times faster than the athletes who were receiving a scholarship. I quickly changed their minds during my sophomore year when my times began dropping consistently. For my first two years on the track team I ran for free; and the little money that I did end up receiving was practically next to free. By the time coach Robinson took over the program it was still hard to get much of anything with the damage that was on the programs funds. This situation haunted me for all four years of my track career at the U of M, but I still decided to stick with it and do my thing.

Sometimes I laugh inside when I think back. One of the things that tickles me most is the fact that two walk-on athletes, Sam James and myself, were always looked at as the ones who would never make it far with the program. Then by my senior year I looked around and realized that we were the only two left out of a big group of sprinters whom started with us. This achievement alone kept me head strong these last two years and allowed me to hang on. Going into my senior year and knowing that the team was about to be overwhelmed with a big group of young freshmen, at first I had the mentality that I would stay to myself, but I quickly realized that I could not do that with the way that I am. The will to want to help others quickly dawned on me that I would make a good coach as well as an athlete. With that being said, I have decided rather than just moving on to do what I do, that I would try to stay and become an affective member of the coaching staff here at the U of Memphis. Hopefully, all that will work out and I will have a chance to spread my knowledge about the sport to help this program become the best in the conference and even in the nation.

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