Russell Wilson Discusses Death of 'Best Friend,' Mental Health Coach Trevor Moawad

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 16, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 28: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before the NFL preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lumen Field on August 28, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson spoke Thursday about the death of his mental-conditioning coach, business partner and best friend Trevor Moawad, who died this week from cancer. 

Moawad was 48.

"When I think about my relationship with Trevor, I think about a man who was humble, I think about a man who always served, who always gave back, who was always dedicated to working and helping everyone," Wilson told reporters. "And everybody he helped, it seemed that they always got better."

Wilson told the story of how they first met, when the quarterback was training at the IMG Academy in 2012 in advance of the NFL draft. Moawad told Wilson that it was his mind that was going to differentiate him from other quarterbacks at the NFL level.

"From that moment, ever since, he's been my best friend," Wilson said. "We spent so much time together through the highest, highest, highest of the highest moments to some of the lowest moments. To the moments of winning the Super Bowl, to the moment of not winning it, unfortunately. He's always been there for me. He's a guy who always gave me perspective and gave me knowledge and insight."

Gregg Bell @gbellseattle

The beginning of Russell Wilson’s emotional 8 minutes discussing what his mental conditioning coach Trevor Moawad meant to him. Moawad passed away last night after fighting cancer. <br><br>“I thank you. I wish I could talk to you. I’ll see you again.” <a href="https://t.co/PfIzldiwti">pic.twitter.com/PfIzldiwti</a>

Wilson wasn't alone in paying tribute to Moawad on Thursday:

Freddy Adu @FreddyAdu

Today we lost an incredible human being. This man was the most positive and incredibly caring human being I have ever known. He has been there with me from the beginning and taught me so much. He touched so many lives and he will be missed dearly. Rest In Peace Trevor Moawad! <a href="https://t.co/qU4kvWDi4l">pic.twitter.com/qU4kvWDi4l</a>

Michael Locksley @CoachLocks

My heart is heavy with the passing of Trevor Moawad. Trev has been an integral part of helping me shape the mental psyche of the Maryland Football family the past 2 years. He’s been a great advisor &amp; confidant, helping me prepare myself &amp; my team throughout this building process <a href="https://t.co/gYyGy4mbWr">pic.twitter.com/gYyGy4mbWr</a>

Ives Galarcep @SoccerByIves

Sometimes you meet people who have an energy so positive that it makes you think "This person is special." <br><br>Trevor Moawad was one of those people. Had a chance to speak to him for some stories many moons ago &amp; it's no surprise to see how many lives he touched. <br><br>RIP Trevor 🙏 <a href="https://t.co/1bSdVh8Sa8">https://t.co/1bSdVh8Sa8</a>

Sam Farmer @LATimesfarmer

Stunned and deeply saddened by the death of Trevor Moawad. Such a vibrant, smart and thoughtful guy. Here’s something I wrote on him in 2019. <a href="https://t.co/Fe3hYYsiuE">https://t.co/Fe3hYYsiuE</a>

Wilson said after the team's loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, Moawad came to live with him in his San Diego home for about a month, helping him get over the loss and work on the concept of "neutral thinking."

"And so early on, we taught these concepts around non-negativity, and then eventually we came to the idea of neutral thinking and neutral behavior, which is a recognition that the past happened, but the past isn't predictive," Moawad said of neutral thinking in 2019, per ESPN's Brady Henderson. "Your next behavior is predictive."

Moawad also worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars and a number of college programs, including Alabama, Georgia and Florida State, and had clients in both the NBA and MLB. But his bond with Wilson was clearly special to both men.

"Last thing I'll say is that, Trev, I thank you," Wilson said. "I thank you. I wish I could talk to you again. But I'll see you again. See you again. The best is ahead."