Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Quick Note of Thanks to Randy Wittman

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Today Randy Wittman was notified that he will not be returning as the head coach of the Washington Wizards next season, ending four-plus seasons as the coach. Now, I’m a Wizards fan, but I’m not the most savvy basketball fan – most of the X’s and O’s go right over my head and I’m happy to watch the eye-popping talent and athleticism on display.
Randy Wittman (left) with Wizards players delivering
Christmas gifts before the holidays.

But I do know a little something about charity, compassion and volunteerism. And I wanted to say a big thank you to Randy for always making time when the Wizards partnered with Catholic Charities (along with the outstanding folks at the Monumental Sports Foundation).

For the past three years, we’ve had some incredible opportunities where families being served by Catholic Charities have been able to meet and greet Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics players, either in the families’ homes or at the Verizon Center. And without fail, Randy Wittman always made time to greet our families and offer some kind words.

Last year, the Wizards invited wounded veterans and their families to attend and watch a full Wizards practice and then afterward join in with players and staff to do a Cup of Joe volunteer event with us. And again, I was struck by Coach Wittman’s compassion and interest to spend time with some of those who had given so much to our country. His graciousness was genuine.

Post-practice Cup of Joe with Wizards players and coaches!
All of these events took place during the season, by the way, when I know the coaching staff had many other priorities. Professional sports is obviously a high-pressure situation where a lot changes fast. Coaches and players come and go. I am just so thankful that with Monumental Sports, we had a coach who knew the value of giving back.

Best of luck to Coach Wittman on his next steps, and thanks for some really fun years as a basketball fan.

~Father John
President and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington