Thank you for such a beautiful post @Jodie and weaving your own history into it. (Kudos for shouting out the 1984 NC squad).
I think some of us were so critical of Pete only because we liked and respected him so much and wanted him to reach the ceiling. He’s a great leader, a great person and a championship coach. Just read the tributes from former and current players. It’s a great loss for the university and the AD. I hope that Pete hangs around and will continue to impact the program and community, from a different avenue.
The 2016 season was so beautiful to see as it was the culmination of B4L’s impact on a number of our best players that barely made it into the school academically and weren’t Pete’s kinda guys. What they achieved on and off the field is what college football is all about as DDY has aluded to. That team was 60 minutes from the NC game and our best team in 25 years. (Unfortunately they faced one of the best teams of all time in the playoff.)
If Jimmy Lake takes the program to even higher levels, then Pete’s legacy will be enhanced. This wasnt a situation where he quit and left the school on its own. He retired because he could hand it off to Lake and knows Lake can get it to the next level. Pete would have stayed if there was no heir apparent.