Rick Rasnick, Spirit of Wellness Honoree

Rick Rasnick was an undersized offensive lineman at only six foot three 240 pounds. But what he may have lacked in football stature, he made up for with his mind and determination. A star at North High, in Torrance, who became a starting center and team captain at San Jose State, Rick ascended the coaching ranks after graduation. By age 27, he was one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the country helping lead his alma mater to a 10-2 record. Rick next turned the University of Utah into a high scoring machine, became head coach at Eastern Michigan University, and was offered an NFL job by the Detroit Lions. Then coach Raz began for getting stats and strategies. His off-field life suffered. He began showing pronounced memory issues and seemed to be slowing down mentally. Still young and physically fit, Rick moved back to the South Bay to recharge. Things seemed to be looking up when he fell in love with his girlfriend of six years, Annette, but his memory loss and mental changes continued to worsen. By 2013, doctors determined Early Onset Alzheimer’s had crossed Rick’s line of scrimmage a rare and aggressive form of dementia, with no cure. Life expectancy is just 5 – 7 years. But Rick has never been one to back down from a challenge With unwavering support from his family and Annette, Rick continues to work out twice a week at CHF with his trainer, Derek Malit to help maintain his physical health, and hopefully to give himself a fighting chance Yeah, we’re so grateful that we found Derek. He was recommended to us and because we’ve been searching For someone, a trainer personal trainer or whatever, to help Rick because we knew he liked the physical exercise, plus medically, that’s what they suggest. Good diet and exercise. And we weren’t capable of doing that sort of thing with him and since he’s been going to Derek It’s been a very different aspect for Rick, he comes home And he’s brighter and because the days that he doesn’t go he’s very quiet So it’s been good and like I said Rick relates to working out because he’s done that his whole life. Like I said, the gym down there and the people down there has really been a positive thing for him. Hello Rick, Derek your trainer here. I just want to congratulate you on being spirit of wellness honoree When I’m working with you, I often find my self teary-eyed Not from the sadness or pity of your condition, But from the overwhelming feeling of pride and respect for what you’ve accomplished. You may not realize it, but you motivate me and a lot of other people in the gym to keep on working hard, and fighting moving forward regardless of what lies ahead So again Rick, I’m really in truly proud of you. I just want to urge you to keep on fighting, and I will see you on Monday Hi, Rick, it’s Lawrence Fan at San Jose State University I’m holding a picture of you after a big play against the University of Pacific Tigers. I remember that game against Baylor, when we went to Waco on November the 1st And there you were looking Mike Singletary straight in the eye, as San Jose State pulled out a 30-22 upset victory What a career we want to wish you congratulations On winning a Spirit of Wellness award keep it up Rick Raz, Wally Gaskins Congratulations on your award we miss you. Hi Raz, It’s Yosh, congratulations on your award, we love you! I think that Coach Raz’s persistence really changed the direction of my life to be honest with you I told them I took my 4 trips San Jose is my last trip and coach Raz actually literally wouldn’t let me off the phone Until I took that final trip, so that was the first impact of Coach Raz on my life. Hey Raz, Dave here listen I wanted to send you this message to congratulate you on being recognized at the Spirit of Wellness Celebration there this evening, I wish I could be there, but I want to send this message to you to let you know that that I’m thinking about you. You know the work ethic the toughness and the tenacity are the things that really catapulted me in my career as a player and now as a coach I look back fondly at that time that we shared together and let you know that You’ve been inspiration to me not only back then but now When I hear and see how you are working and putting forth your best effort As you continue on this journey, I want to let you know that I’m thinking about you Spartans for life! Take care. Well, big brother, I’m glad that we are all here tonight I see you being honored for your hard work and dedication to get yourself better We are all behind you 100% your family your friends everybody from the neighborhood here in North Torrance We’re definitely proud of you you’ve been a great role model for Kendall and myself our entire lives growing up I definitely strived to Follow you in your footsteps, and I’m happy that we’re all here as a family tonight you see being honored. I love you very much Hey Dad, I know you can still hear this, but what I want to tell you is how impressive not only is it what you’ve done with your life and your career, but what you’ve done for others. What are you doing to inspire them and and help them achieve their goals That’s something that I want to hold true throughout my life, and thank you for that Hi, honey. It’s just me. How you doin’? I just wanted to say congratulations on receiving the Spirit of Wellness. I’m so proud of you I’m so glad you’re getting this recognition for all your hard work. I know you enjoy those workouts at the gym With Derek, just keep it up, you’re looking good! And I just wanted to take a moment say you are amazing, and I’m so glad that you came into my life. I love your passion your spirit and your sense of humor. You make us laugh every day and I love you for that, I do. I love to laugh and I love to dance with you again Again, I just want to say congratulations I’m so very proud of you. I love you!

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