“Betty Jo Graber called and said they didn’t have money for a hotel, so we said just come on down, we’ve got room,” Charlie said.
During Sullivan’s years as a booster, he’s grown close to the coaches who have passed through the Coyotes program. He still stays in touch with several, and is very close to current Lady Coyotes coach Bob McKinley.
“I never had a brother. He’s as close as I’ve ever had,” said Charlie. “I’m quite proud of those friendships I’ve developed with coaches.”
McKinley, likewise, has grown to value Sullivan as more than a booster.
“He’s been an awesome friend, not just to our program, but also to me,” said the legendary coach. “He’s just a special person, he and Nelda both. They have been so special for our program and have done so much for us over the years. They are family.”
Charlie jokingly recalls the days when he was even a “chauffeur” for the basketball team.
“I hauled those basketball boys all over the state of Texas in my station wagon,” he said. “I’d put up a piece of cardboard so the light wouldn’t bother me, and they’d sit back there and play cards.
“I was an unofficial assistant coach, but I was really bus driver, and it was great.”
In his younger days Charlie used to broadcast games with his friend Ben Combs.
“The Ben and Charlie Show we called it,” he said, his face lighting up with the memory. “We had some great times.”
At their age it’s more difficult for Charlie and Nelda to get to every game. When they do, they have reserved seats with their names on them on the second row, first aisle.
“We treasure those,” he said. “And we have put them to a lot of good use.”