Contrary to popular belief, “Git 'er done” was not a Larry the Cable Guy creation.
Take it from Tim Van Alstine, who swears he heard that very phrase with regularity as early as the mid-'80s in one corner of the UI campus.
We’ll let the Cardinal Stritch University athletics director explain:
“I arrived in Champaign in the fall of 1986. Through a series of connections and encouragement from a few close friends, I enrolled in the doctoral program in the College of Education. I met with Vance Redfern, associate AD, and Ed Swartz, assistant AD for football operations, during the summer prior to my enrollment.
“They offered me a graduate assistantship within the athletics department, specifically in academic services assisting the football team and men’s basketball teams.
“Mike Hatfield was my direct supervisor. A more passionate and loyal guy you will never meet. He loved the Illini. His enthusiasm and attention to detail were his personality trademarks.
“Long before Larry the Cable Guy coined the phrase, ‘Git 'er done,' that was Mike Hatfield’s signature phrase. Mike was the epitome of the ‘yes man’ — meaning, if there was something that needed to be done, without exception, he volunteered to do it.
“He taught me so many things about effort and attitude, working with people, building relationships, priority management, doing things right the first time and caring for student-athletes.
“Without a doubt, my three years working with, and learning from, Mike Hatfield proved to be one of the most influential periods in my professional life. From Illinois, my career in intercollegiate athletics was launched, including appointments at the University of Maine, the University of Wisconsin, Ohio University, Western Illinois University and now here at Cardinal Stritch University.
“I will always be indebted to Vance Redfern, Ed Swartz and Mike Hatfield for the fantastic opportunity they gave me.”