AUSTIN, Texas — On the south side of Austin at Maudie's, there was a royal welcoming for UT baseball royalty Friday morning.
"For him to come to breakfast with us, it's just awesome," said Louie Alvarez.
Former Texas Longhorns baseball coach Cliff Gustafson was greeted by a standing ovation from a table of 30-40 men who adore the 88-year-old Longhorn legend as he entered Maudie's in his wheelchair.
"How often do ya'll do this," asked Gustafson
The first Friday of each month this group meets to break bread and talk about baseball. This time, Coach Gus was the VIP guest of honor.
"I appreciate all of them coming to see me," said Gustafson.
An expression of gratitude for all involved.
Gustafson hasn't coached a game at Texas since 1996, that's the year he stepped down as head coach at Texas. Ever since then, Coach Gus has placed an emphasis on his relationships. He was surrounded by former players, former umpires, and members of the baseball community in Austin to honor and respect the man they call "Gus."
"They just enjoy it so much to see him and just take pictures with him, that's a great thing," said former Travis High School and Bowie High School baseball coach Rudy Alvarez.
Coach Gus has quite a memory. He enjoys talking about the 17 trips to Omaha and the two national championship teams at Texas he coached in 1975 and 1983.
Mike Anderson, a member of that 1975 national championship team which beat South Carolina in the College World Series title game in Omaha 34 years ago, said Coach Gus has been an influential man in his life.
"I'm just glad I played a part of his life. I still use a part of what he taught me in coaching, he's just a great man," said Anderson.
The humble and lovable UT baseball coaching legend discussed one thing which is missing, his name permanently etched into UT's baseball facility. That's something his former players are rallying around.
"They are going to get something eventually," he said. "It may be too late for me to love it."
Coach Gus, who won 1,466 games at Texas, is a legend who deserves to have his named added to the jewel of a college baseball facility that is, Disch-Falk Field.