Wednesday, February 08, 2006


A friend and fellow KSU alumnus sent this story to me. I don't know whether it's true, but if it is, it represents a set of priorities that is in short supply in the world of athletics. Are there any K-State fans out there who can confirm this? Ron Prince came to KSU from the University of Virginia. Any insight from that community?
"A young boy was throwing a football around with his older brother after school at the end of January. The little boy loved football and K-State. The family are also huge K-State fans.

While the little boy was running for the football that his older brother had thrown, he fell on a hard service and severely injured his neck/throat on the school sign. His older brother carried him into the school to receive help. On the way to the hospital the little boy died.

With Halstead being such a small community everyone was crushed. So the counselor of the school emailed K-State the day before funeral service to tell them what happened and I guess was hoping to get a card or something for the older brother.

Obviously he was extremely upset. The morning of the funeral the counselor gets an email from Ron Prince asking what time the service is. She replies that it's that morning only only two hours from then.
Fifteen minutes into the funeral service Coach Prince walked in. He stayed afterwards to talk with the family and the older brother who was obviously taking it very hard.

Needless to say the town was amazed by this. The principle who is a huge KU fan (named his dog Jayhawk) was taken back by this and said he probably do something he swore he'd never do - start cheering for K-State.

This is a true story, but the funeral was in Newton and the boy and his family were from Halstead, KS. The only thing that makes this story even more impressive about Coach Prince is that this funeral was the morning before Signing Day and thus, the final day to sign recruits for the 2006 season.

Coach Prince got in his car and drove directly to the funeral as soon as the school counselor returned his call last Tuesday morning. Coach Prince said it was one of the most difficult things he has ever witnessed (a funeral for a young child) and that HE was buoyed by the strength of the boys' family. The 12 year-old boy who died has an older sister who is enrolled at KSU."

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  1. Quote from Ron Prince the next day at K-State's signing day press conference:

    “I am going to start this press conference by saying that this press conference is in memory of Andre’ Thibault, a 12-year old young man from Halstead, Kansas, who passed away tragically in an accident the other day after school. A young man that was an avid K-State fan, a family that was really terrific in their support and it was a really devastating blow to a family and a community. I was fortunate enough to be invited to go down and celebrate his life and we are going to do what we can here this spring, particularly in the spring game to honor this young man who was such a big K-State fan.”


  2. During the signing period there is not any talking in person to any student that might attend the university, no matter what sport you coach, or what sport they are pursuing. You may write letters, or make phone calls. You may talk to them in person if they are on an official visit to your University.
    Looks like Ron made a NCAA violation.
    I think this story is totally fabricated, don't you? Otherwise he made the biggest bone head move in history

  3. I'm from Halstead. It's a true story. It was really amazing to witness the amount of support the family recieved. They are wonderful people who held up extremely well considering the circumstances. Here are links to two stories that discuss his death. I don't think either mention Coach Prince, but some googling could probably verify the story, if you want to check it out.

  4. Im also from halstead and this story is somewhat true I was there when it happened.
    It was after weightlifting one day and we were all playing football. Andre went out for a pass and hit his neck on the sign
    he made a gasping noise and we all thought he was kidding then his little brother yelled he's suffocating and we all including Andre who ran on his own power went for help
    he was carried to the office where I don't know what happened as we children weren't allowed in. The Ambulance then had a flat tire on the way to the hospital but we think he was already gone. We all prayed for the Thibault family and know Andre is catching footballs in heaven. They did have a memorial K-State football game.


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