Nov. 11, 2011
From USD Head Coach Brooks Dagman.
It seems best for me to write to all of you today, Veterans Day, about the loss of Mike Tatham. Mike passed away a few short weeks ago in a motorcycle accident while on leave from his duties with the Navy SEAL's. It was Mike's wish, if he was going to pass away early in his life, to die either in combat or while out on one of the many adventures that he had with his friends. I am certain that Mike would rather still be among us, but considering the circumstances of his death, I suspect that he is at peace right now.
While attending Mike's memorial last week ago at Rosecrans National Cemetery, I marveled and how many lives were profoundly impacted by Mike. He was a brave and conscientious leader within the SEAL's. While listening to the many heartfelt speeches about Mike, I thought back to his time spent rowing and coaching at USD. Mike had a way of expecting, and getting, the best out of his teammates and the athletes that were under his supervision. He expected only the best out of himself as well. He was one of those rare souls that would pay any price to seek out what is best and true in his life, and the lives of those around him.
As a young coach at the time, Mike's fiery temperament and his fearless pursuit of perfection as an athlete were a challenge for me. As an older coach now, I understand what Mike was trying to accomplish. Mike helped me grow as both a coach and as a person. I will miss him immensely and can only hope that God grants me the opportunity to coach, and share of bit of life with, another person as great as Mike Tatham.
USD will be honoring Mike with a moment of silence tomorrow at one PM in Torero Stadium before the start of the Marist football game. The University understands what a terrible loss Mike's passing is for USD Rowing as well as all of the people who's lives were touched by Mike.