Ty Gregorak's voice can carry all the way from the turf in Washington-Grizzly Stadium to the "M" on Mount Sentinel, and it often did in his seven years of exuberantly coaching the Griz linebackers.
Given the style it's perhaps easy to imagine, after the story broke that Gregorak had been arrested for vehicular trespassing and theft in Colorado in late April, that his "all-ahead-full" style had run him, Ty-tanic style, into an iceberg.
Now, after the charges were dropped last week, all Gregorak can do is pick up the pieces. Hindsight being 20-20 he figures now, as he sits unemployed in Spokane, that he had other options besides returning a gun, a wallet, a bottle of cologne and other items to their rightful owner.
"If I dump this stuff I'm still employed and my name isn't smeared through the mud," he noted Friday. "I felt like at the time that the right thing was get this guy his stuff, and maybe he can fill in the missing pieces."
So after finding the items in his hotel room after a night out with friends, he did an Internet search of Joseph Benedetto's address and returned the stuff. He figured, or at least hoped, that things ended there.
"I get to the golf course and tell the guys the craziest story they've ever heard," he said. "Some of them called it a ‘The Hangover' type of deal, and it sort of was."
Except there were no friends or Polaroids to fill in the gaps. Gregorak still doesn't know how he ended up with the property. Security cameras at his hotel showed he wasn't carrying anything when he checked in that evening.
Footage from another security camera, near a strip club, was supposed to be more damning. He was allegedly turned away, twice, by Benedetto, a bouncer.
Gregorak finally saw the tape around June 25.
"I kind of just kept looking... I was kind of waiting to see me come in the picture," he said, but he never appeared, though someone was turned away.
"I was wearing a T-shirt, blue jeans and flip flops that night," Gregorak said. "This guy's wearing a hoody, he's smoking a cigarette, he's wearing tennis shoes. Almost two months had gone by, and you think, ‘Has anyone looked at this tape?' This guy doesn't look anything like me."
The gaps remain, though one thing is certain: Between the warrant being put out for his arrest and the Boulder County district attorney's office saying, "Never mind," he lost the only job he's had since his college playing career ended.
Gregorak was among a nucleus of coaches who followed Bobby Hauck from UM to UNLV, but UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood said on May 12 that Gregorak wouldn't be back.
It was Hauck who recruited Gregorak to CU, and it was Hauck who helped get him into coaching.
"There was maybe two years where I didn't wake up and see Bobby yelling at me," he said, fondly.
Gregorak is painfully aware how things have turned. He calls his DUI in Minnesota a year ago an event "that I absolutely feel ashamed for," and he is going through a divorce. But he steadfastly believes he did nothing wrong in Boulder in late April.
"I never lied to anybody," he said. "I never said anything inaccurate. I just told them what I knew."
Through all of this, possibly what hurts the most is the idea of not coaching football this fall.
"I didn't know what depression was," says the 31-year-old. "I feel like if you asked a linebacker, none of them would say I'd ever had a bad day."
Now he was having some. He found himself talking to Mike Price, the deposed Alabama coach who now runs the program at UTEP, for a half an hour this summer. It helped.
On the phone Friday, Gregorak was chipper and positive.
"Hopefully I can look back on this and say, ‘Hey, this is the best thing that ever happened to me,' " he said. "I don't think there's too many people who've done great things in their life, who haven't been knocked on their ass once or twice.
"I know that I made mistakes, and I know that we can all screw up. But life goes on. We've all got it pretty good, and I'm excited to start over."
Fritz Neighbor can be reached at 523-5247 or at email@example.com.