Some of you may know that I had the privilege of playing college basketball for Gregg Popovich, the current head coach of the San Antonio Spurs and the greatest pro basketball coach of his generation. I played at Pomona College in Southern California and Popovich was the head coach – his first job as a head coach. People often ask me “What was he like?”. Back then, Coach Pop was pretty similar to the guy you see on TV today: tough, smart and fiercely competitive. As players, we all got to know the Popovich family, including his wife Erin. I remember her being so different from Pop, she was his perfect counter balance. Not surprisingly, we all were a little afraid of Coach Popovich so we got a little pleasure seeing him completely defer to her when she was around. During the offseason, we would spend time with Erin and the kids at the Pomona College pool and she would always let us know that we were always welcome to come by the house to talk or just hang out. The Popovichs had an ideal relationship built on love and mutual respect, and I never forgot that. Coach Popovich is not only considered a great basketball coach, but a few years ago Fortune Magazine ranked him as one of the Top 100 leaders in the world. I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that Erin is the primary reason Gregg Popovich is the person he is today. She has always been his partner behind the scenes. This past week, I was saddened to hear the news that Erin Popovich had passed away. She was an amazing woman. Thinking of her made me a little nostalgic for my basketball days, but most of all, it reminded me that we encounter great people throughout our lives. We may not always know it at the time, but we do. There are millions of people (mostly women) that do so much to make our lives better – and ask for nothing in return. Erin was one of those people. Who knew that our team mom at Pomona College was literally one of the greatest people in the world? I was lucky to know her, and the world is a little less great without her.