Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Part III: Richmond's Celebration of Life Tributes to Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis

By Mel Greenberg

Here is the transcript of the remembrance speech made by Ginny Doyle's good friend and Richmond athletic department co-worker Cathy Rossi at Saturday's memorial service.

Still to come are women's basketball coach Michael Shafer's opening and possibly, if they desire, the remembrance from Natalie's parents.


I would first just like to thank everyone for coming today to help us to remember and celebrate the lives of these two extraordinary women.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cathy and I’ve been friends with Ginny ever since I’ve known her.

I know that might sound strange, but Ginny was the type of person that you could be fast friends with and I can’t actually remember a time where I didn’t consider her my friend.

Being a basketball junkie myself I knew that Ginny and I would have a lot to chat about; little did I know that Ginny would ALWAYS have a lot to chat about.

Most people do know that Ginny was an epic story teller so I hope that I can do her a little bit of justice in telling just a part of her story here today.

Ginny and I were co-workers here at the University of Richmond, and me being the socialite that I am I was always organizing some sort of social outing or gathering.

There is a popular series of Bud Light commercials out right now that use the tag line “Up for whatever”, and I can’t help but think of Ginny because she was always up for whatever I threw out there.

We probably went to over 20 concerts together and I know there were times where she might not have known more than one song of the artists but she’d just say “yeah, I’m in”.

Even when she had her latest knee surgery, Darius Rucker was playing out at Innsbrook (who I’m pretty sure we had seen twice already together) and since Ginny couldn’t hobble out to the show we listened to whole set from the back deck of her house, with her mom too……and told stories.

Ginny reminisced about how her parents used to make her and her brother Joe dress up and entertain them and their friends with renditions of the Kenny Roger’s classic “The Gambler”.

I didn’t even know Ginny had musical talents!

I also had the pleasure of going to see the Steve Miller Band with Ginny and her 3 siblings-Joe, Ray and Pat. I remember Ginny being so excited to have everyone out together and visiting at the same time.

As dedicated as Ginny was to coaching, she was even MORE dedicated to her family.

But whatever you threw out there Ginny was always in, as long as she didn’t have to go recruiting or watch game film which was always a priority.


Being a basketball coach was so much of who she was, but she was so much more than that.

Everything that she was as person is what made her a great coach. She was so humble and giving…..and selfless and loyal.

Knowing that I was going to be speaking to you all today I had reached out to a few other friends of Ginny and just asked them what they would say about her if they had the chance to speak to you all today.

There were so many positive responsive it would be impossible to share them all today but they were things like, “we always had a LOT of laughs”, or “she was so giving and appreciative of others”, and “She was not only my coach but my friend and mentor”.

I always knew that Ginny was a great friend to me but I quickly learned that she was great friend to everyone she met.

Another friend (and former player of Ginny’s) talked about how she took the time to know her players off the court AND their families. And that trait didn’t stop with coaching. She was always willing to take the time to get to know other people, and know THEIR story.

Coach (Stephanie) Gaitley, who was one of Ginny’s coaches, shared a funny story with me that when Ginny was playing for her she could hear all the ladies on the bench whispering and chuckling and saying “you tell her”, “no you tell her”.

So finally Ginny came up to her and said, “Um, Coach your shirt is tucked inside your underwear.”

(Coach Gaitley did approve me sharing that with you all today btw)…But that’s who Ginny was……she was the type of friend that would tell you if you had food all over your face or your underwear embarrassingly showing.

She had a huge heart and a tremendous sense of humor too, even dressing as a Nun one Halloween, which now has me wondering if God is appreciating her sense of humor as much as we did?

When I look around and think about the outpouring of love and support the Doyle family has received over these last few months, it amazes me to know the number of lives that Ginny had impacted in her short time here with us.

I could live to be 100 years old and not affect even HALF the number of people that Ginny has touched in her 44 years.

I consider myself SO LUCKY to have known Ginny..…..and very PROUD to be able to call her my friend.

And whether she was your teammate, your colleague, your sister, your aunt, you daughter, your mentor, or your coach…………..she was without a doubt also your friend.

When we leave here today, I just hope that we all understand how absolutely blessed we are to have even had the opportunity to have these two extraordinary women in our lives.


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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