The family arrived on campus on Friday, Oct. 1, picked up some Sun Devil swag courtesy of the ASU Alumni Association, ASU Family and the ASU Foundation, and set up their table and camping chairs for the tailgate. 

And with ASU football playing an away game at UCLA that weekend, the family received a special bonus.

“We were excited to find we could walk into the stadium and take a moment to reflect,” Josh said. “My best friends, who all still live in Arizona, came to celebrate with us. We had a game of cornhole going, music playing and our kids ran around together laughing. I could not have asked for a better way to celebrate my birthday this year.

“Christine presented the certificate for the memorial brick to me, and it meant so much to know that my dad will always be a part of the stadium he loved so much. It will be a special moment to come back to ASU next season and find the brick with his name.”

Jim lived in the Phoenix area for more than 60 years. He loved all Arizona sports, but his devotion for Sun Devil Football really grew in 1997, when ASU legends Pat Tillman and Jake Plummer led the team to the Rose Bowl, Josh said.

“Once my dad retired, he got season tickets and loved to tailgate in the parking lot with all of the other Sun Devils fans. He loved talking about ASU football history with the other season ticket-holders,” Josh said. 

“Even though I attended the University of Arizona, my dad's love for ASU stayed strong, and it was fun to have a healthy bit of competition in our house. In 2003, David Smith, a childhood friend of mine, attended ASU and played defensive tackle for the team. My dad loved having the connection to David and cheering him on from the stands.”

The elder West was such an avid ASU fan that he built a 1957 Ford F-100 with a Cadillac 472 engine and painted it ASU gold with maroon flames, complete with a pitchfork and “Go Devils” written on it.

Go Devils inscribed on truck

Jim West’s custom-built 1957 Ford F-100, a true “hot rod” with a Cadillac 472 engine, showed off his love for the Sun Devils with ASU gold paint and maroon details. Photo courtesy of the West family

“My dad built this truck from the frame up and always wanted it to be a true hot rod with ASU flair," Josh said. "He spent eight years rebuilding this truck in a shop that he and I built together one summer when I was in college. He was so proud of the custom touches and always dreamed of parking it outside the ASU football stadium for home games.”

Josh grew up in Chandler, Arizona. and then moved to Littleton, Colorado, in 2005, where he lives with Christine and their 7-year-old daughter. With his father’s ties to ASU, he said the October 2021 celebration outside Sun Devil Stadium “meant the world to me.”

“It would have meant a lot to him to see us all together in this space, and I wish he could have been there,” Josh said. “All of the ASU swag also made his service on Saturday much more festive, and I am so thankful to have had the support from Robin to make it all happen.”

Jim Brophy

Communications specialist, Educational Outreach and Student Services