A little more than three years ago I walked down to the basement of Johnston Hall and proposed an idea to one my fellow reporters at the Marquette Tribune, Andrei Greska: Launch a website where the student reporters covering the men’s basketball team could write additional stories as a complement to the articles we published in the twice-a-week newspaper.
I didn’t know Andrei very well, and I hadn’t done much in my time at the Marquette Tribune to give him a reason to take a chance on me or a project that would mean double the work for zero additional pay. But Andrei took that chance, and with the help of sports editor Mike Nelson and Trib editors Matthew Reddin and Tori Dykes, we launched Paint Touches prior to the start of the 2011-12 season, our respective senior years at Marquette University.
From that day until now – 1,150 days – it has been without question the most rewarding work I’ve done in my seven years as a journalist. The wonderful people I’ve met, the players and coaches I’ve been fortunate enough to cover, the places I’ve traveled to and the stories I’ve written. It’s all something I’ll forever cherish.
But I knew it wouldn’t last forever. Paint Touches opened doors for me I never could have imagined sitting in that basement three years ago, and the irony is that all the work put into this website and what it’s led to outside of Paint Touches for me is the reason I can no longer invest the time I believe is necessary to maintain it at the level it’s at now.
It’s why I’ll be stepping away from Paint Touches this year. Andrei and Mike LoCicero will continue on with the same game coverage and statistical analysis that has made this website what it is today, and they may add a piece or two to help with the day-to-day operations. Where it goes I’m not exactly sure. But what I am sure of is that this website will continue to be the best source of news, opinion and analysis on Marquette basketball. I can guarantee that. Who knows? You may even see my byline pop up from time to time.
I took some time to write the names of every (I hope) person who made an impact on me at some point during my time with Paint Touches. In writing this list I was able to really reflect on how much of a team effort this was, and in addition to the names below I want to thank you, the readers, for giving me a reason to keep writing on such a special program.
To Andrei Greska, Mike Nelson, Mike LoCicero, Bill Strotman, Beth Strotman, Jack Strotman, Luke Strotman, Matthias Strotman, Herb Lowe, Todd Rosiak, Steve True, Buzz Williams, Isaac Chew, Brad Autry, Aki Collins, Tony Benford, Steve Wojciechowski, Jae Crowder, Chris Otule, Mike Broeker, Scott Kuykendall, Pat Lawton, Brad Galli, Andy Glockner, John Dodds, Marco Radenkovich, Jeff Wolf, Joe True, Alex Jesswein, Andrew Gruman, Tim Cigelske, Howie Magner, Jim Owczarski, Jim McIlvaine, Mike Singer, Jim Ganzer, Mark Miller, Matt Trebby, Chris Chavez, Tess Quinlan, Michael Wottreng, Marissa Evans, Maria Sapienza, Matthew Reddin, Tori Dykes, Trey Killian, Matt Barbato, Matthew Curley, Joe McCann, Mike Wittliff, Luke LeNoble, Amy Ufnowski, Barb Kellaher, Todd Smith, Ernest Eugene, Tim Shanley, Adam Zagoria, Jay Bilas, Matt Norlander, Raphielle Johnson, Jeff Goodman, Rob Dauster, Troy Machir, Ken Pomeroy, Luke Winn, Bobby Bancroft, Scott King, Dwight Burke, Joseph Fulce, Junior Cadougan, Jamail Jones, Anonymous Eagle, Cracked Sidewalks, my MUScoopers, Jim Axtell, Phil Barbash, Matt Brennan, Mark Lennon, Kevin Shanley and Greg Smith:
Thanks for everything. #mubb
— Mark Strotman