The WIVES... |

The WIVES...


All American
Jun 18, 2018
The Wives of the Assistants

I don’t think anyone realizes how much work it is to be an assistant coach in football. I posted the information about Bob Ligashesky but if you didn’t see it here it is again:

2021-pr: Bowling Green (Special Teams Coordinator/Safeties)
2018-20: Illinois (Special Teams Coodinator)
2016-17: Illinois (Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends)
2014-15: Houston Texans (Special Teams Coordinator)
2013: Houston Texans (Interim Special Teams Coordinator/Special Teams Assistant)
2012: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Special Teams Coordinator/Safeties)
2011: Oakland Raiders (Special Teams Assistant)
2010: Denver Broncos (Tight Ends)
2007-09: Pittsburgh Steelers (Special Teams Coordinator)
2005-06: St. Louis Rams (Special Teams Coordinator)
2004: Jacksonville Jaguars (Assistant Special Teams Coach)
2000-03: Pittsburgh (Tight Ends/Special Teams Coordinator)
1999: Bowling Green (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers/Special Teams)
1991-98: Bowling Green (Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator)
1989-90: Kent State (Outside Linebackers/Special Teams Coach)
1986-88: Arizona State (Graduate Assistant)
1985: Wake Forest (Graduate Assistant)

Been all over the country and it’s not easy. You and especially your wife have a special relationship about being away and most of the time it works.

My point is that if you don’t like to advance in your career then being a football coach is not for you or your wife. Most of the time advancement comes in taking a job in another part of the country than the one you are currently at. But, IMO the most important cog in the coaches life is his wife.

“You’ve gotta have a wife and mother that’s supportive,”. “Her day can go haywire, and she always figures it out. We [coaches] talk about it sometimes, how hard their days are, and how appreciative we are.”

Wives are the ultimate team moms, doling out phone numbers to worried parents and hugs to homesick freshmen. They run the household, coordinate activities and, in the early years of a coach’s career, often pay the bills. Along the way, they form a special sorority that only other football wives can truly understand.

“I heard someone say once you’re either a coach’s wife or an ex-wife,” laughed. “You’re either independent or strong willed coming into the marriage, where you just roll with things on your own, or you can’t handle it.”

I believe most coaches will readily admit they don’t mind the moves which can be 1 year apart or two or three and it may depend on whether you are an assistant or HC. What it means also is you leave and your family, wife, wife and kids and dog are left packing up the house or apartment, arranging for the movers, leaving the school they are attending, friends and leave for the next husband/fathers job, a new school new friends unpack and set up a new shop IF that’s what you want to do.

Most of the time the coach leaves the family intact and the home they are familiar with, says see you in six months, gone. Unless of course you are coaching for years at the university which is close to home. It’s a much better situation. But even then, the wives are the generals, left to make the daily decisions get the kids to school and handle any emergency that arises. Because their husbands are at the “office “ sometimes 15 hours a day.

I know my sister was a football coaches wife, Jim Roe was a running back at Dover High School in Dover, N.J. He was their star running back and after prepping a year at Valley Forge was on a full ride at Delaware. After that he became backfield coach at Mountain Lakes High in N.J. did very well and was hired away to Central Dauphin High in PA. which is big time High school football where he was also successful so much so that when he lost one game during five year stint the fans were about ready to run him out of town. From there he was an assistant at William and Mary and Penn. After a while Jim inherited a 700 acre farm in outside Clemson, SC and my sister in no certain terms let him know she needed a break from football.

Here’s another real life story about the wives of coaches:

This arrangement, Shelley Meyer said, isn’t for everyone.

When Shelley and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer started dating 30 years ago, she didn’t know exactly what to expect. As Urban disappeared to the office for 14- and 15-hours days -- then as a grad assistant for the Buckeyes -- she caught on.

“It’s not a conventional marriage, for sure,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s bad.”

Building a life with a coach means adjusting for major situations -- like childbirth, for instance. Nicki Meyer, Shelley and Urban’s oldest, arrived right on her due date, a Thursday in 1990. Forty-eight hours later, she attended her first college football game, where three elderly women scolded Shelley for having the audacity to bring a newborn into a germ-fest.

In 1998, Nate Meyer was due late in the week that Notre Dame was scheduled to play at USC. Urban was a Fighting Irish assistant at the time, and missing the birth of his son wasn’t an option. Shelley persuaded her doctor to induce labor -- much less common 16 years ago than it is now -- and when she was ready to push, Urban met her at the hospital.

“Thirty minutes after Nate was born, he went back to the office -- and that was just fine with me!” Shelley laughed.

Coaches’ wives trade stories about husbands with phones pressed to their ear in the delivery room, on vacations and during parent-teacher conferences. While juggling responsibilities as a husband and father, they’ll be sweet-talking a big recruit.

“It’s hilarious, some of the things that coaches will go through for the sake of a game, a recruit, a team,” Shelley said. “But we’re all on board, including our kids.”

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All American
Jun 19, 2017
Amen to that.

A lot of times its the recruits Mom that needs to be won over. Coaches wives are pretty good at that, too. ;-)


Emeritus Legend
Aug 26, 2011
About 5 years after we moved to Michigan a former SU assistant under both Mac and Coach P moved into the neighborhood one street over. Our wives became friends, but I never met him because he was never home. He stayed at MSU for a year and then spent over 20 years knocking around the NFL. When they left for the Arizona Cardinals, he gave us some great SU coaching staff shirts and a coat.

Tough life for a wife and kids. Assistant coaches always reminded me of the athletic equivalent of 1960's disc jockeys. As the lyrics went in "WKRP in Cincinnati": got kind of tired packing and unpacking, from town to down, up and down the dial.


Living Legend
Aug 26, 2011
IMO the wife knows what she’s getting into - or should. It’s raising kids that would be THE worst. I could not imagine uprooting my kids every couple years and I would not be able to do that for their own well being.

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