For those who don't know already....I have moved 9 times in almost 15 years of marriage....all because of the roller coaster ride that I call the football life. Four of those moves "we had to make"......,i.e. we were not retained after our head coach was let go or left the program.
I remember the first time it happened after being at the University of Idaho for three years. I cried....A LOT. I almost took it personally-that they thought my husband was a bad coach. I think my husband was actually worried that I wasn't strong enough to handle this profession. I was a wreck.....no lie. I just didn't get it.
This post is for all you starting out in this profession. It's also for those of you who know someone going through a transition (which is probably a lot of you in this business). Transition is really just a part of coaching ...and it is not always easy. The key to dealing with it.....as hard as it sounds.....is: don't take it personal.
Our second time experiencing getting let go was at Ball State University. Our head coach was fired right after the season, and I was very pregnant and due in January. We found out the new head coach was not retaining us, and most the staff, on December 23rd.....so guess who had a Xmas Eve baby!!!! It was the best present ever, and a reminder of what's really import in life. The hard part was we had only 90 days from the end of the season to find a job, and my husband ended up taking a job in VA a month after my baby was born. Here I was with 3 kiddos (one only a month old) living a 10 hours drive apart from my husband....for almost 6 months. It was really hard.....but we got through it.....my boys and I.
A coaches wife that I am still close with, from when we were at Ball State University, always reminded me to keep the faith (thank you Beverly.) When things aren't going the way you planned, it's extremely hard to stay positive. Trust that God has a greater plan for you and your family. It can help you keep the faith in those tougher times.
The third time being let go was when we were at Western Illinois University. Our head coach was let go in November, which was followed by most of our staff getting let go in December.....happy holidays right😳🎄🎅🏻. Because we had a better contract at WIU, we had 6 months to find another job. We kept waiting for the right opportunity.....and it took a long time.....almost 6 months to the day to get the right job. With 3 kiddos at home, and me being a stay-at-home mom at the time....you could say that I was extremely worried. We landed at Minnesota State University, Mankato, which fortunately was a great situation, as we won our conference and went to the playoffs our first year. The next year my husband was promoted to offensive coordinator and we ended up playing in the National Championship game.
Our last time experiencing the hard reality of coaching was at Montana State University. We had just moved there in June and I had our fourth baby that September. I knew right away when my husband came home at 11 on a work day that our Head coach was let go. We were 5-6 that season, and we didn't win our big rivalry game.....that's a big no-no there. At this point, I didn't even cry, I knew I had to be strong for my 4 boys that depended on me. So, "here we go again", I remember thinking. After a few leads to different places we ended up finding home.....South Dakota State University. That's where we are now..... and guess what? We won a conference championship and went into the quarter finals in the FCS playoffs last fall.
I choose not to regret any place we've been. All places have lead us to the road we are now, and we have met amazing people along the way. If we hadn't taken that job in Montana, we wouldn't have named our son Maverick Montana, and experienced one of the most beautiful places in the country. Plus, our time through Bozeman helped lead us to South Dakota State University....and I absolutely love our Jackrabbits💙🏈💛🐰
So for all you wives out there worried....look at my football journey. Some ups, some downs, and all kinds of in-betweens. I am sure there could be more bumps in the road with this crazy football life, but I will keep the faith that God has a much bigger plan for us.
For all of you in this football life knowing you'll be staying at your place at least another year. Don't forget to reach out to the wives in transition. I'll never forget all the ones that have been there for me in those times....and I will be forever loyal to them. We need to remember this life isn't always easy, and that we all will go through these times at some point or another in our husband's careers. So I encourage you to reach out....any way you can. They need that support.
I will continue to pray for all the wives out there with these unknowns right now, and keep reaching out to those close to me going through it ❤🙏🏼🏈.