My family is headed into year 3 at South Dakota State, which matches the longest we have been at a school in our 16 years or marriage. Our 1st 3 year stint was actually my husband’s first full-time coaching job. Back in 2004, he was hired as the Offensive Line Coach at the University of Idaho. The 3 years in Moscow, Idaho, were eventful; we bought our very first home and welcomed our second baby boy into this football life. At the end of the 3rd year our head coach took another job, and like most incoming head coaches, his plans did not include retaining many of the assistants. This is often referred to as “cleaning house.”
At the time, being new to this “coach’s wife life,” I was a complete mess finding out we hadn’t been retained. I took it personally, and worried that people didn’t think my husband was a good enough coach. There were many nights shedding tears in fear that we’d never get another coaching job again. I am pretty sure my husband questioned if I could handle the ups and downs of this lifestyle. On another level....it was also sad to have to sell our very first house and leave a town that was truly starting to feel like home to us.
I have grown to learn over the years, as a “seasoned” coach’s wife, that it all works out. After Idaho, my husband found another coaching job in a beautiful town in Minnesota, and we spent two wonderful years there.
Since that time, we have had 5 more football moves....sometimes only staying for one year at a school. In all honesty, it makes me truly thankful that next fall will be our third season at South Dakota State University. It is a lot better writing this blog post instead of calling and getting estimates from Mayflower or United. After moving for football 9 times in 16 years of marriage, I’ve been there, done that.
Most coaches’ wives can relate to late November through February, when you never know what may happen job wise and Football Scoop is a constant buzz of firing and hiring. I know from experience that the hardest part of being a coaches’ wife is the unknown.
Around this time of year I always start to feel a little unsettled. I start to look at my husband like.....Are you sure we are not moving? I mean.....shouldn’t I be cleaning out closets right now? When you move around as a coach’s wife, you learn to let things go.....I mean why pay to move it, if you don’t really need it. I presently have a stack of wardrobe boxes and dish packs in our garage. I learned a lesson, because every time I have gotten rid of boxes in the past, we ended up moving the next year. You could say I am a little superstitious I guess.
We have also learned through all the ups and downs that come with this profession, that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There is often a price to pay for the “better job.” One of our last moves to Montana is a perfect example of that. We left a team that went to the D2 National Championship game for a chance to “move up” to D1-FCS. We were only there for one year and I just had my fourth baby boy when we were let go. Maverick Montana wasn’t able to enjoy Montana for very long.
So as I write this blog post today I am truly thankful and blessed to say this football family is staying Jackrabbits for another year. I am happy for my family to stay settled and plant deeper roots in the wonderful state of South Dakota, a place that truly has become home to us.
This blog post is also about all the coaches’ wives out there dealing with unknowns right now. Keep the faith....it will work out, and please know i’ve been there. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers daily.