I first met Sean Adams while singing on the praise team at Westover Hills church in Austin, Texas. He was a big man. A very sharply dressed big man. He was athletic in build and confidence, and his smile and powerful bass voice completed the package.
All of these characteristics were attractive even before I knew he was a sports-talk-radio personality, which just happened to be the job I'd wanted my entire life. We talked sports every Sunday for a few months and I texted him a few early tips on major coaching changes in the high school football landscape, then one day he invited me to co-host his show for an afternoon.
He never knew exactly how much that meant to me. He also didn't know how much I admired him as a protector of his family, and as a man who never shied away from the truth, no matter how ugly it was. I can't claim we were close friends, but I can speak honestly to the impact he had on me as a sports journalist, a Christian, and as a human being. He taught me to see the world through a new lens.
In my experience, Sean was usually a little bit late and rarely responded to text messages in a timely manner, but he always showed up. When I needed him to speak to my students at a local high school, he knocked it out of the park. When I needed an interview with an athlete I couldn't get a hold of, Sean made it happen. He always showed up.
The sports audience in the Austin area will be less informed because of his absence. Not about sports, but about humanity, equality, and the importance of hard work and love in every corner of life. These were the messages he wove into everything.
A mutual friend called tonight to tell me of Sean's passing. Of course, my first thought was of his wife and children. He was only 46. The tears surprised me, and it took a while to make them stop. He really was a giant in my eyes. I didn't realize just how big until tonight.