Friday, July 17, 2015

Goodbye Yariv

On his second to last day as a Princeton employee, Yariv Amir stood in the Class of 1956 Lounge in Princeton Stadium and began the story of how he came to be a Princeton employee in the first place.

"I was living in my parents' basement in Plainsboro," he said.

The occasion was Yariv's going away luncheon, and he was talking about his time at Princeton.

TigerBlog can take it from there.

Yariv was in Plainsboro. He wanted to work in athletic communications in Division I hockey in the area.

As it happens, TigerBlog and the Office of Athletic Communications needed a contact for the Division I hockey team in the area.

It was the start of a perfect relationship, one that lasted 13 years and ends today.

Has it really been 13 years?

Yariv came to Princeton as an intern, covering men's and women's hockey, baseball, field hockey and water polo. It didn't take long until TigerBlog - and the rest of the department - realized that he was something special.

He leaves Princeton as an assistant athletic director. He's headed to Colgate, his alma mater, to become Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations.

TigerBlog was out on a boat once, off the shoreline in Ocean City, N.J., when the boat suddenly stopped working. TigerBlog's first thought was "well, it's not that far to the beach."

The guy whose boat it was? He had a different first thought. Figure out what's wrong and fix it.

Why tell that story? Because that's how Yariv is.

Some people see a problem and call someone. Others try to fix it.

Yariv is a fixer. That's how his job ended up being what it was at Princeton.

If you want to read something funny, read Yariv's job description. It touches on maybe 35% of what he actually has done here.

After 10 years in athletic communications, Yariv moved over to the position of marketing director. And, like any good marketing director, he headed the department's efforts in advertising, promotions and the like.

And videostreaming. And technology. And facilities upgrades. And graphic design. And any other kind of design. And licensing. And webmaster. And, you know, basically anything else that came up.

As a result, he's worked closely with basically everyone in the department. It was obvious yesterday at his farewell luncheon that TigerBlog is hardly the only one who came to rely on him.

He's certainly come a long way in his 13 years.

Yariv is a 2001 Colgate grad. TigerBlog knew he was on the rowing team there. He didn't realize that he was the team captain until he read the release about Yariv on Colgate's website.

Yariv was single and barely out of college when he came to Princeton, a kid. He leaves with two kids of his own. It's not stretching things too much to say that he's grown up at Princeton.

When TigerBlog remembers his 13 years of working with Yariv, he'll remember how efficient he was. How fast he could produce things. How many projects he could juggle at once.

He'll remember how much he came to rely on him, and in fact how much everyone here came to rely on him. He'll remember his calm demeanor and the rational, thoughtful way that he expressed himself.

Those are all qualities that will serve him well in his new role.

More than any of that, though, TB will remember someone who has always been a really good friend. Someone who laughed, a lot. Every day. No matter how busy he was.

Sitting here now, TigerBlog can think of so many great times that Yariv was a part of during the last 13 years. There were so many funny stories. So many laughs.

About everything and nothing.

TigerBlog and Yariv have usually been on the same wavelength. They understood each other for 13 years, and they way more often than not agreed on whatever the issue of the moment was.

TigerBlog is happy for Yariv. It's the next move in his career, and he knew this day was coming at some point.

Now it's here.

Today is Yariv's last day. Princeton Athletics will go on without him, but TigerBlog will miss him, and not just because of everything he did here.

No, it'll be because Yariv always made coming to work here a little more fun, a little more enjoyable, a little better, for each day of the last 13 years.

Looking back to when he started here, TigerBlog figured he just found another hockey contact, one who would be gone to his next job in a year or two or three.

He had no idea who he was really getting back in 2002.

In 2015, he knows who is leaving.

A great worker. A great person.

One of the best who's every worked in Jadwin Gym in both respect.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

I have to agree "Yariv always made coming to work here a little more fun, a little more enjoyable, a little better..." I'll miss the laughs, the banter and the Yariv'isms (Tell me two things)