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|It’s More Than a Game to Coaches’ Wives|
|News Releases - Sports & Recreation|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:15|
Unusual Sorority Shares Demanding Lifestyle
College football fans are watching their teams practice and hoping the new recruits will be game-changers a few months from now. For them, it’s the lull before the fall.
For the team coaches though, there is no lull. As usual, they’re working seven days a week, heading out the door at 6 a.m. and coming home long after the wife and kids have gone to bed, says Kathy (Currey) Kronick, author of Mrs. Coach: Life in Major College Football (www.mrscoach14yrs.com).
“During spring ball games, they’re not home, so their wives are doing everything but playing football,” says Kronick, whose book recounts her years married to Coach Dave Currey. “And they’ll do that, too, if necessary.”
The life of a football coach’s wife is notoriously demanding, so much so that in 1989, the American Football Coaches Wives Association was created to provide “camaraderie, support, information and service.” They share a subculture unlike any other in the United States and, while it can be exciting and rewarding, it comes with many sacrifices.
“His career and the team are the No. 1 priority, no ifs, ands or buts about it. In that regard, it’s a lot like military spouses, but with college coaches, the family lives in the public eye,” Kronick says.
“The wives take care of everything at home, everything, because their husbands are at work day and night, seven days a week. Many wives also work – most coaches don’t make a lot of money. The wives are also expected to attend games, fundraisers and recruiting dinners. Every couple of years, unless they’re really, really lucky, they’re single-handedly packing up the household to move the family across the country because their team lost and their husband got fired.”
In 2008, three researchers interviewed nearly 300 college football coaches’ wives to learn more about their lives. Their findings, Kronick says, paint a portrait of what fans never see when they are cheering – or jeering – the team.
The life of a coach’s wife isn’t all hardship, Kronick notes. Out of necessity, wives become self-reliant and independent, if they weren’t to begin with, and that boosts self-confidence. It’s fun cheering on your team, and lasting friendships are often formed among this group that shares so much.
“But in the end, most wives give up their lives for their husband’s dream,” Kronick says. “I couldn’t do that any longer. I needed to pursue my own dreams, and to have a husband I could talk with about them.”
About Kathy (Currey) Kronick
Kathy (Currey) Kronick was married to Dave Currey from 1974 to 1989. He was an assistant coach at Stanford University when they met and married, and later moved on to Long Beach State (Calif.), the University of Cincinnati and UCLA. They divorced in 1996. Kronick, who has a bachelor’s in education of the deaf and a master’s in counseling, is the mother of two children and is happily remarried.
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