Randy Bernard Talks First Meeting With Patrick Gottsch, Starting The American Together and More

Bernard worked in Chief Executive roles at the PBR and Rural Media Group in his career and developed a close friendship with Patrick Gottsch

Former PBR and Rural Media Group CEO Randy Bernard joined Western Sports Roundup Tuesday to discuss his relationship with Patrick Gottsch.

Patrick considered Randy a close friend and the two saw each other on both Thursday and Friday of last week before Patrick passed.

“His spirits were great, he looked great and it was just a sudden shock for me,” he said.

The two have known each for 25 years and their relationship had an unusual, but funny start.

“We were in Brazil and I was taking out about 35 of the Brazillian media to dinner, and at the end of the dinner they bring the check and I gave them my American Express and they said, ‘Sorry we only take Visa.’ Thank God Patrick was sitting next to me, that was our first introduction. He gets that smirk on his face and hands me his credit card and took care of it.”

That would mark the beginning of a long friendship, and yes, Randy made sure to pay Patrick back for the dinner.

Randy pointed out how Patrick was about everyone from farmers, to cowboys, to Native Americans. He wanted a network the represented the best of Western life. That was never more evident than when he started The American, an event that lost money, but had a massive impact on re-imagining what was possible for Western Sports.

“He wanted to make sure he did as much for everyone as he could. He never did care about money... I have so many great memories of Patrick”

Bernard summed up Patrick in one sentence.

“Everything he did was about Rural America.”

The Gottsch family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Patrick’s honor be made to the National FFA Foundation.