This is a post that holds a special place in my heart. To those wives that are experiencing the small college with a small budget. If no one else feels you or see’s you I do! It was the best of times it was the worst of times (Charles Dickens voice). We had very little money, we had History (our son), and my husband hustled so hard for something that paid nothing. OK I take that back it afforded us to eat like we did when we were college students. This was around the time when I became the “This Pays the Bills” spouse. Now, if you are doing the math my husband was an assistant coach at Cumberland University before becoming a head coach at Columbia. This is when I started feeling the effects of him coaching. Drakes lyric, “You wasn’t wit me shooting in the gym, you wasn’t wit me shooting in the gym,” rings so vivid to me. Why? Because, ladies if you can’t be with your husband/boyfriend at the Juco level; to be honest this life style may not be for you.
Columbia State gave us our start the beginning of a life that I now wouldn’t trade for anything. So, let’s start by saying my husband’s first season at Columbia state was not the best we went 11-16 or something like that. It’s all a blur because it was that bad. I started to second guess our decision and wondered why my husband was grinding so hard for something that was barely helping us make ends meet. He was driving an hour to work, and game nights were stressful because I would work and then spend an hour in traffic, plus the hour commute. This is when I realized we would never ride in the car again together.
First, came love then came marriage then came History in the baby carriage. Well not exactly, first came love, and came History, and then the marriage. Then came a 28-4 year and nationals, some would say this was a great year. And it was, don’t get me wrong it was a grand year. But, again we struggled, we had History, so we would stay up taking turns getting him, but it mostly came down to me, because I nursed. I would wake up go to work (which required travel some days), pick History up, and on game days we would travel to Columbia State for games. Now, let me tell you something those ladies in the Athletic Department were something special. Those game nights they made sure we ate, I didn’t have to cook or stop to get something eat. Those ladies were special and didn’t even know it.
Our third and final year was a special year for us 26-7 a regional tournament win and back to Nationals. This was our final year although we didn’t know it at the time. My perspective of my husband’s coaching career changed. I realized this was more than a job for him it was lifestyle. His bond with his players was deniable the best relationship a coach could have with players. I began to fall in love with the game and have a passion for something I thought I would never have. Those endless night’s my husband stayed up writing plays on post-it notes; us housing players, because they couldn’t go home; him bringing uniforms home to wash; and spending money out of our pockets because of the non-existent school budget to get necessities for the program. It was all worth it, I began to see a clearer picture.
Life gets better ladies; I am here to encourage you. You will get to a point in life that you will be able to reflect on those struggle days. I am more than grateful for the opportunity that Columbia State gave our family. I am forever indebted to those ladies in the athletic department that provided hot meals for my family. I am grateful for CState-Mafa who believed in my husband’s dreams, goals, and ambition to lead them. To the Columbia State community that supported my husband’s dream and help assist our family in our success I cannot thank you enough. To the ladies going through the struggle and straddling the fence of your coaching lifestyle again I see you and know I have been there. Believe in your husband support your husband, it will only get better.
What has been your Juco experience? What’s your story?