Two years ago today BGS was born. I was looking forward to reminiscing how far we’ve come over the last two years. I was even more excited to talk about the upcoming season and what the future held. I couldn’t wait to talk to my friend and co-founder Jerry McGhee. Unfortunately I soon learned that conversation would never take place.
Jerry passed away this morning from heart complications at the age of 35 years old. While it is a little more complex than that Jerry was a private person and even though he is no longer with us I will continue to respect that about him.
Jerry leaves behind his parents, his brother Mike, family, friends, a community, and a staff here that will be forever grateful they had the pleasure of knowing him.
Jerry loved BGS. He was proud of what we had accomplished together. Even though he was competitive it was never truly about being better than other sites. He did this for the passion of college sports, for the passion of Mountaineer sports.
Jerry was one of the easiest guys to talk to, unless you were wrong, in which case he’d let you know it. He loved getting Longhorn fans fired up and loved discussing WVU sports. He had a special passion for WVU football and recruiting. You would be hard pressed to find someone more knowledgeable about either. Lastly, he loved being part of something that was bigger than just him. And that showed both as a co-founder of BGS and in his professional life.
Jerry had taken time recently to deal with issues in his professional life. Jerry was a member of the Marmet town counsel. He was also an EMT and assistant fire chief with the Marmet fire department. Not many people outside Marmet truly knew how much Jerry was for the people. He always fought for what he felt was right no matter the consequences. Whether we knew it or not he made us all better people.
I looked up to Jerry. Even though we were the same age he was a mentor to me. When we started BGS he was already experienced in the field of blogging and media. I can still remember the sense of pride Jerry had when we launched two years ago today. Personally I had no clue what I was getting into. I can confidently say without Jerry BGS would not be where it is today.
In two years we developed affiliations with USA Today and Athlon Sports. While on the surface Jerry did not show it, he was proud. He had taken a passion and made it into a success. And even though I took over the reigns from a business perspective Jerry was always the driving force behind our success.
Now that Jerry is gone he will continue to be the driving force. Not because he will be here to guide me but because I will continue to make him proud of what he helped build. I will take what I have learned from him, both as a writer and as a person, and continue the successful venture we started two years ago today.
Jerry was one of my best friends. I looked up to him and often times relied on him. As a friend he never turned his back on me. As a business partner he was sometimes tough but fair. He was wise beyond his years in every aspect of life.
I will truly miss you Jerry. I can assure you that your memory will forever live with BGS and Mountaineer Nation. And while I will reluctantly continue to press on, know that there will not be a day that passes that I will not be grateful for your guidance and more importantly your friendship.
I am sorry I did not have the chance to tell you goodbye my friend. You will be truly missed by many. God speed Jerry McGhee