Farewell and Thank You
I still remember how my mind brimmed with excitement during my first drive into Charlottesville in August 2008. Much has happened in the two years since. It's been more than a duty -- always a privilege, often a pleasure -- to chronicle those stories and events in the pages of The Washington Post and in this space, which I took pride in nurturing.
Now, I hand off the keys of the Virginia beat while I pursue an opportunity covering the New York Giants for the Newark Star-Ledger. Although I'm excited, I'll miss Scott Stadium on Sept. 4. I won't observe from John Paul Jones Arena whether these six freshmen can help turn around the basketball program. I'll no longer hear the sound of a Danny Hultzen strike on a June evening in Davenport Field.
I learned to never be surprised -- neither when the football team lost to William & Mary in 2009 nor when they upset Maryland in 2008. Neither when the basketball team left the Smith Center with a victory nor when the baseball team's trip to Omaha was halted by bats that went dull two games too soon.
The stories seldom stopped -- whether expected, eye-opening or, in some cases, tragic. Both the football and men's basketball coaches were replaced. Peter Lalich and Sylven Landesberg's careers were rerouted after two seasons for entirely different reasons. Yeardley Love was found dead on the morning of May 3.
It was an eventful time to follow U-Va. I appreciated the frequent company of such fine people -- from the coaches to the players to those in Virginia's athletic department to those who write and talk about the team.
And, of course, the readers. It was a joy to open my inbox and react to readers' e-mails. To be stopped by fans with thoughts on the teams. To hear criticism or praise about a story -- along with ideas and leads to follow.
For you, these next few years will be an interesting time. You're lucky that Steve Yanda will cover it for The Washington Post. Few are more capable. I will follow the teams from afar -- and often in this space. Thank you for reading, and for helping make the past two years so worthwhile.
July 30, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
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