Feb. 26, 2008
LOGAN, Utah -- Two seats all the way in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum have a great history for an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech.
Graduated from Utah State in 1994, Bulldogs assistant Curtis Condie will make a trip back to his beloved alma mater; only to be on the opposite bench and coaching against his former school.
"It's starting to take its effect," Condie said of his homecoming. "You're talking about the school that not only did I graduate from, but there's strong family ties. My grandfather went to school there. My mom and dad went to school there. I met my wife there. I have cousins and other family that went there. It's kind of strange being on the other side. Once it's time to tip the ball off, however, it doesn't matter what on the other guy's jersey. I'm a Bulldog. But before the game and after the game, it will be a little strange."
Condie may have grown up in East Los Angeles, but his family history stretches back through Cache Valley in Utah where as a youngster, he spent time on his grandfather's farm during the summer time.
"I think I was the only kid in Los Angeles who knew what a swather and bailer were and could operate them," Condie said. "My parents have since moved back to Logan. I'm probably the only opposing coach that could walk from my parents' home to the game."
Condie is in his first year as an assistant coach in Tech head coach Kerry Rupp's staff. He and his wife, Wendy, have come a long way from their days as students cheering for the Aggies.
"We always sat in the same two seats at every Aggie game," Curtis said. "That's what you do at Utah State: you go to the athletic events. We always got there early enough to get the same two seats for every home Aggie game. It was one of our first traditions being married; going to those games and sitting in those two seats. It's because of attending Utah State University I am where I'm at in my life and profession. I had great professors and great experiences. I was able to meet people and network that helped me get where I am in this business. And we can't forget I met my wife there in class."
"We were brought up avid Utah State fans," Wendy said. "We went to every home game and brought a little dinner with us sometimes and tried to sit in the same seats. It was fun for us. There's a lot of history there at the Spectrum for Curtis and me."
For the Condies, Utah State is a family affair. All four of the Condie children are all but indoctrinated with Utah State memorabilia, history and even the songs.
"The first song my kids learn is the Utah State fight song," Curtis said. "It's been entrenched into them, because sports are a big part of our lives. My kids favorite teams are the Dodgers, Lakers and Raiders, and they're favorite college team beside Louisiana Tech is USC and Utah State. I grew up with Greg Grant's photo in my room (who at the time was Utah State's all-time leading scorer). Now my 11-year-old son has a photo of him and Jaycee Carroll together that was taken after our game in Ruston."
Both Curtis and Wendy have elected to stay mum on exactly which two seats were theirs. But on Thursday the two students that Condie sees sitting in the seats will be treated to $25 apiece, and the secret will be out.
"I know what it's like to be a starving student in Logan," Curtis said. "This is just a way I can give back. I was one of them once. We never missed a game, and we always sat in those seats. But when the horn sounds, I'll be doing everything in my power to help the team wearing blue and red win the game. That's a little different than the dream games I used to play in my backyard in East L.A. But I think those in the student section know and understand that. Just consider this the Curtis Condie Scholarship Fund."
And Wendy did add that as much as she loves the Logan area, Ruston and Louisiana Tech is her home now.
"We know where our allegiances lie," Wendy said. "The kids and I both long to go back and visit family and friend in Cache Valley, but our priority is here and now and support for Louisiana Tech. This is home now. I'm glad he gets to go back, but I'm really happy to be here in 75 degree weather."