×

A quick public thank you



Friday, March 07, 2014
I've moved away over the years from putting too many personal things on this blog, but I'm breaking away from that for a brief second.

I wanted to take a quick second to say thank you.

Over the past two months, I've been on partial paternity leave, living in Boston, as my newborn son received treatment at Children's Hospital. During that time I've been able to do some work from Boston allowing me to extend my vacation time as long as possible.

While my friends and family were amazing and I've thanked them elsewhere, I just wanted to say a quick public thank you to a few people that I owe one to.

Quite a few UMass coaches and administrators who knew my situation adjusted their schedules and normal interview procedures to help me be able to do my job from the other side of the state. Coaches are busy people tied to their schedules and routines, to adjust them on my behalf was not necessary, but was certainly appreciated.

The UMass athletic media relations department of John Sinnett, Jillian Jakuba, Brian Henry and Cody Lahl was terrific. I can be difficult and demanding to them sometimes, but they were great setting up phone interviews and adjusting to my oft-changing schedule.

The staff at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reminded me again why I've loved working here for the past 15 years. The compassion and generosity or my co-workers helped me through a challenging few weeks.

To my media colleagues, who have volunteered to help me when I couldn't be at events, that's an amazing gesture I won't soon for get.

To readers and UMass fans, I've gotten some nice notes from people, who I only know because they read the paper or visit Gazettenet. That kind of kindness makes me want to do my job better.

Finally a special thanks to Mark Chiarelli. We created a special one-time UMass coverage internship this year for Mark. He's handled a lot of our UMass coverage this semester and made me a lot more comfortable that this beat is being well-tended. Remember his name, if he chooses to make journalism a career, he's got a bright future.

I won't be all the way back to fulltime and full speed for a little bit yet, but I'm a lot closer now. Today I was back at football practice and tomorrow I'll be at basketball. This blog will be filled with polls, rankings and week guides again very soon.

Thanks,

Matt