America held little promise during the 1930's, when the Great Depression vice gripped the country and a boy named Thomas Errol Wasdin was born into the hardscrabble farmland of Waldo, Florida. Wasdin was only months old when his mother died of blood poisoning. Soon afterward, he and his sister were sent to live with their Uncle and Aunt, who raised them with old-fashioned values rooted in discipline and hard work. These became character traits that served Wasdin well – later at the University of Florida and eventually throughout his life.
And what a life it has been; rich and varied, and not without heartache and an ongoing, debilitating battle with Trigeminal Neuralgia, which the medical profession chillingly refers to as the Suicide Disease.
It is a life that saw Wasdin shape the lives of poor children from literally and proverbially the wrong side of the tracks in Jacksonville, Florida; children who later became attorneys, administrators, sports stars, politicians, educators, husbands, wives, parents and productive citizens.
It is a life that saw Wasdin forge friendships with two men he achieved enormous success with – Joe Williams and Rick Stottler. With Williams, Wasdin reached the pinnacle of coaching in college basketball, taking Jacksonville University to the 1970 NCAA Championship Game against the most powerful program in college sports history – John Wooden's UCLA Bruins. The account of that season, and especially that game, captures the controversy and excitement that surrounded it. Wasdin then moved from an assistant coach to a successful tenure as JU's head coach.
It is a life that saw Wasdin leave coaching to join Stottler in business and development, shaping both lives and a stretch of area along the East Coast of Florida that with his help came to be known as the Space Coast.
It is a life lived in full, and a life story worth reading.