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Pittsburgh's coaching staff: Bob Coyne, Bob Bradley, & Walter Gretzky
Posted: October 30, 2004 6:16PM; Updated: January 15, 2005 1:23PM

Whoa my love, my darling, I hunger for your ?.  ~Unchained Melody

 
I want to adopt Walter Gretzky. If you know Mr. Gretzky then you know his tunes. I promise you that once he sings to you, they will echo in your head throughout your day, throughout a hockey event, and in your heart for years to come. What an honor!
 
When the partnership of Boy Coyne, Bob Bradley, and Walter Gretzky took interest in coaching the Pittsburgh Roller Hockey Club, I never stopped much to think about it. I was just in awe and flattered that these gentlemen took interest in our sport. After having communicated with Mr. Coyne and Mr. Bradley and then meeting them and Mr. Gretzky at our event in Feasterville, the reason they took the opportunity didn?t even matter to me. All that mattered was that they were there! All that mattered was that they were enjoying themselves and having fun and giving all of us encouragement, not just the team they were coaching.  And eventually all that mattered was that Mr. Gretzky sang his songs to me; to everyone. I will give Mr. Gretzky a hug every time I see him!
  
I have looked forward to his upbeat attitude and undeniably encouraging words at each ECRHA weekend that Pittsburgh attends. Life is a blessing. Everyday should be lived as if it could be the last one. Just ask Mr. Gretzky his thoughts on this. In 1991, Mr. Gretzky suffered a brain aneurysm which destroyed a good deal of his memory and almost took his life. With great support from his family and a therapist (who eventually became a part of the Gretzky family), Walter amazingly overcame the limitations that an aneurysm can leave a person with. He still retains some challenges and will be more than happy to show you the shunt that is built into the back of his neck leading to his brain. You can read about the amazing recovery of Mr. Gretzky most anywhere but there is no substitute for listening to him tell you of it himself. His stories and experiences are breathtaking. He speaks with such kindness and veracity that he leaves you in awe that he really is such a ?Great One?.
 
I think I can listen to Mr. Gretzky talk for hours. I probably would too if he didn?t have to coach the team that he and ?The Bobs? travel from Canada to teach and mentor. (LOL). He is amazing, not because he is the ?father of The Great One?, but simply because of his thirst for life and the gifts he shares daily. He reminds you that life is a miracle and you shouldn?t take it for granted. Every day matters and everyday you must live. When he is around  he makes me think of my grandfather and his immigration. He makes me think of my father and the war. He makes me wish I had spent more time with both of them before they were gone and my grandmother who died of a stroke, much like he had. He makes me think of all seniors and how we can take them for granted even though they never take the same for granted. And then I think of how fortunate I am to have been blessed by his presence and I am a better person for it.
 
Regardless of why Mr. Coyne, Mr. Bradley and Mr. Gretzky have crossed over to inline and why they have made such a great commitment to the University of Pittsburgh?s Roller Hockey Club, I look forward to seeing them every hockey weekend!
 
And Unchained Melody will always be in my heart.
 
Thanks guys! We are all very flattered by your committment and always excited to have you at our events.
 
~Rebecca Breitel
Executive Director, Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association
 

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