I wanted to drop you a note and extend my deepest sympathy to you and the entire Athletic Department family. The tragic events will somehow bring us all closer. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help the families. We are all thinking of you and everyone at ISU.
Jay Blunk, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Blackhawks
My family’s prayers and thoughts are with you, the families, players, and Redbird nation. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of so many. Please know that they will all be missed. #lifelongredbird
– Todd Wemhoener, Former Redbird
Now that things have settled down some, I just wanted to let you know how sorry we are over the events of April 7, yet how proud we are of the way everybody – you and Dan in particular – responded to a horrible, unthinkable situation. I can’t imagine what it was like for you to lose Aaron and Torrey, not to mention Terry Stralow and the others. I had just spoken with Aaron a week or so before and still have a hard time believing he’s gone. But I thought the response of The University and the athletic department was so caring and thoughtful. Debby and I are certainly thinking about you guys as you try to move forward from this tragedy, and even more than ever, we are proud to be Redbirds.
-Dan Roan, WGN Chicago
I really don’t know where to begin except to tell you that the Court family shares in your grief over the loss of such wonderful people. I did not know Torrey, Andy, Terry, Jason, Scott or Tom personally, but from what you have said and the comments from many other Redbird fans, they were wonderful guys who cared deeply about ISU. I watched Torrey on television broadcasts and could tell how much he meant to the players, Dan and his staff. Aaron’s loss is especially hard for me to understand, as he was an absolutely wonderful human being. I viewed him as a very special friend. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling and supporting ISU athletics. I was so happy when I heard he was coming back to Illinois State and the first time I saw him back on campus, it was like the missing link in the athletic administration that you wanted so much to fill was now in place. You and Aaron were a wonderful team together. In my many years as a principal, I had to deal with tragic deaths of faculty members and students. You are so right that there is no play in the playbook for these kinds of circumstances. I do know, however, that the most important thing we can do as leaders of a program, is to provide the love and support for those family members left behind. I know you are doing this and our thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire Redbird community. Stay strong!
-John Court, Former Redbird
When we lose someone unexpectedly, we are reminded how fragile life can be. Our hearts ache for the loss of such promising, aspiring, young individuals. Aaron, Torrey and the other victims touched the lives of many. You are in our thoughts and prayers, with many memories to treasure.
-Lisa Huth and Tony Young, Illinois State supporters
It is with great sorrow that we share our heartfelt condolences on ISU’s tragic loss of such great men. Words cannot express our sadness for you and the entire ISU family. We are reaching out to offer anything we can do to help you both, the Leetch family, or any member of the ISU community. Please do not hesitate to ask for time or resources. I am sure this catches you at a very difficult and busy time. Just know our thoughts are with you all. We feel blessed to have had lunch with you and Aaron just last week and will remember his spirit and hope, at some point, to help create a legacy in his memory.
-Rob and Nancy Northrip, Illinois State supporters
There are no words to convey my sadness to you over the passing of Aaron, Torrey and the other men last night. I know how overwhelmed you and your department and the University must be in dealing with all of this. Please know that all of us here in St. Louis are available if you need anything at all. Please call if we can help in any way. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers.
-Doug Elgin, Missouri Valley Conference Commissioner
You and your staff along with the athletes in your programs have been in my thoughts since I heard about Aaron and Torrey’s deaths. I can’t imagine the grief and impact of such a loss and in these circumstances. The loss of two staff members along with community members is inconceivable. And while you and your staff grieved you helped the community and students grieve-what an incredible act of leadership and caring.
-Maureen Blair, Illinois State supporter