The job of a college coach is not only to develop his players on the field, but also to develop these young men as people for when their college football careers are over with. Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt football program have to be proud of this next story.
Nick Gordon is a former D-1 college athlete that’s recently gone through some physical issues. Due to some college injuries, Gordon underwent back surgery a little more than three weeks ago. There were complications with the surgery that left his left leg paralyzed.
Thankfully, 4 days ago, Gordon was able to move his left leg a little and is learning how to walk again. Gordon has been getting a ton of support and inspiration from various people, including Pitt sophomore wide receiver Tre Tipton.
“Tre and I met 2 years ago while he was visiting Pitt,” said Gordon. “He lives in Apollo and I live 15 minutes away from him. One day he asked for a ride because I had to go to the South Side so I dropped him off. We kind of hit it off immediately due to our outlook on life and deep conversations we had.”
This encounter must have made an impact on Tipton because after finding out about Gordon’s physical issues, he’s been in constant contact with him. Tipton has called or texted Gordon regularly since the surgery and has even stopped by the hospital to visit on more than one occasion.
“The thing that’s so special about Tre is exactly how he handled this injury. I really wasn’t surprised when he would call and text because that’s how he is. He’s a caring person with a lot of depth to him. What was surprising was how much he visited,” said Gordon.
“Being a former D-1 athlete, I understand the time that goes into just one single day and the summer is more hectic. Often times, you don’t have a minute to yourself so for him to use that free time to visit me in the hospital is really incredible, he is the definition of a selfless person.”
This chance encounter has turned this unfortunate medical situation into a special friendship and Gordon looks at Tipton as a new member of his family.
“He has grown close with my family over the 2 years especially during this time. My family has so much respect for him and care about him as if he was my brother.”
Earlier I mentioned that it’s a college coaches job to help mold their players while they’re coaching them. Well, Narduzzi is going to have an easy time with Tipton because of the great job his mother, Kim, did raising him.
“His mom is an unbelievable woman so I’m not at all surprised on how he’s ended up. I remember to this day our first time talking he told me he wanted to make it to the NFL not for his own benefit but because he was so interested and driven to change the world. Tre sees the real issues and wants to be a difference. To have that mentality at 19 years old is so incredible and just shows how well he was raised,” said Gordon.
“Tre is going to be successful in whatever he does in life because he understands that nothing is given and he has the mentality to achieve and never give up. Pitt is lucky to have him.”