Rob Edson, the Athletic Director at Onondaga Community College, passed away over the weekend. He had also been involved in Syracuse University athletics for more than 20 years. Our Cara Thomas spoke with some of his colleagues and student athletes about the impact Edson had on their lives.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- It was a complete shock to students and faculty at Onondaga Community College when they received an email this weekend saying their school's athletic director had passed away.
Tyler Bliss, an OCC basketball player, said, "I was just talking to my parents yesterday about how he came and talked with us last Tuesday and was really just saying how we need to be thankful and just blessed for living."
Rob Edson, 45, has been with OCC since August 2011. In that short amount of time, colleagues say he's made a huge impact.
"From him, it's the best junior college facility in the country and you can probably compare them to a lot of facilities at a lot of the four year schools at any level," said Chuck Wilbur, OCC's men's lacrosse coach.
He wasn't just an amazing athletic director. People said he was a great man and friend.
Ben Honahan, an OCC soccer and basketball player, said, "He knew everybody, he knew me by name. It didn't matter what was going on, if you needed anything he would be there for you to talk to for anything. He was an all around great guy and it's a tough loss."
But people at OCC aren't the only ones feeling the sting of a sudden loss. Edson was involved with Syracuse University's athletic program for more than 20 years. Colleagues said the number of students, coaches and even sportscasters he impacted is immeasurable.
Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills head coach, said, "Rob, when I was at Syracuse, he'd always come in after the games and kind of cheer me up, and pick me up you know keep things in perspective. My prayers just go out to him and his family."
"What he's done for the athletic community in Central New York. I don't think you can really put on paper how much he's achieved and how much he's actually helped," said Wilbur.
But it's not his many achievements people said they'll remember most, it's the memory of his caring personality that will live on in Central New York for years to come.
Calling hours for Rob Edson will be Wednesday at the Eaton-Tubbs Funeral Home in Fayetteville from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be Thursday in Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University at 11 a.m. Coaches from OCC say they're working on organizing some sort of memorial service.