Russell Wilson first met Trevor Moawad when the former was preparing for the NFL draft at the IMG Academy and the latter was a mental conditioning coach working with draft prospects.
In their first meeting, Wilson recalled that Moawad told him, "I hear you're going to be great."
Wilson agreed, and when Moawad asked if Wilson knew why, Moawad told him, "Your mind. That's what's going to separate Russell Wilson, that's what we're going to work on."
That was the beginning of a decade-long working relationship that became a close friendship and eventually a business partnership as well, with those two along with Wilson's brother, Harry Wilson, and D.J. Eidson launched Limitless Minds in 2019, a company that brings competitive thinking from sports to the corporate workspace.
On Wednesday, Moawad died after a two-year battle with cancer, and a day later Wilson spoke at length about his friend during his regularly-scheduled Thursday press conference. For 15 minutes, Wilson talked about this week's opponent, the Tennessee Titans, and about closing in on his 100th career victory, and about playing in front of the 12s again. But then Moawad was brought up, and Wilson, perhaps as emotional as he has ever been in front of the media, spoke at length about a man who meant so much to him in his career and his personal life.
"This may be tough for me to talk about," Wilson said before talking about meeting Moawad at IMG in 2012. "… From that moment ever since, he's been my best friend. We spent so much time together. We had the highest, highest, highest moments, to some of the lowest moments, to the moment of winning a Super Bowl, to the moment of not winning it, unfortunately, he's always been there for me. He was a guy who always gave me perspective."
Moawad was never more important in Wilson's life than when the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XLIX, a game that ended with a Wilson interception at the goal line. The next morning, Moawad called Wilson and the two began the process of putting that moment behind Wilson.
"He said, 'You're a winner. You're a winner. I believe in Russell Wilson. I believe in No. 3. What are we going to do about it?'" Wilson said. "I said, 'I'm ready, when are we starting? I'm ready right now.' So I hopped on a plane, flew down to San Diego, and he kind of moved in with me for about a month just to keep everybody away and just to have everything move efficiently, and we got to work the next morning."
When the two talked in San Diego, Wilson told Moawad, "I'm not going to let this moment affect me the rest of my career."
Continuing, Wilson said of Moawad, "I think about a man who was a humble man who always served, he always gave back who was always dedicated to working and helping everyone. And everybody he helped, it seemed that they always got better. They always got better. He was a winner. He was a guy who always gave back and knew how to win championships and knew how to help people win. And not just win on the field, but in their personal lives, too."
After more than seven minutes of talking about what Moawad meant to him and so many others, Wilson finished by saying, "Trev I thank you. I wish I could talk to you again, but I'll see you again. I'll see you again. The best is ahead."