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  • Writer's picturekeya Collins

I have a short and kinda funny story… no one knows this, but my husband and I called it quits while at Cumberland University. I will not discuss the details of what drove us to that point because it’s technically still up for debate. Let’s just say, I felt like he was being disrespectful and I Was Not Having IT! As a response to his actions, I packed all his ish up; that he had at my house, and told him he could go! From what I remember, this spat went on for about two weeks. After the second week, I called him and asked, “What are we doing?!” That one question changed things! And let’s just say, the rest is History!

Nothing about our relationship was ever toxic; not even us calling it quits. As women, we are often willing to sacrifice everything due to lack of communication. I experienced it in my past and I refused to deal with it again.

“Communication eliminates confusion!”

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  • Writer's picturekeya Collins

My husband’s first job was an Assistant Coach position; under the direction of Coach Lonnie Thompson, at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN. It was just he and I, during this time. I was living in Antioch and he had an apartment in Lebanon. I had established my career in Social Work and had a 45 minute commute from Antioch to Clarksville, TN, five days a week, but I didn’t miss a single home game. Because of my commitment, I drove an additional hour from work, to show my support at his games. I would pack a bag and stay in Lebanon on game days and would make that hour long drive to work the next morning. It was something I didn’t think twice about because I believed in his journey in becoming a D1 Head Coach. We were young and showed our support and commitment to each other. I supported him when he said, “Hey babe, a coach is coming in town and I need to meet up for dinner and drinks.” When he was on the road for games, I also supported from a far. After games, I would sit in his office while he broke down film, spoke with parents, and had after game talks with the players and the Head Coach.

These were the days that I feel my husband grind the hardest. I considered him a players coach because he was relatable to the players, while also being a disciplinarian. There was a time he popped up on the team, in their dorms and discovered they were peeing in the hall trash can, instead of going to the bathroom! He was hot and I got an earful all night! This was the type of situation he would rectify, without ever taking it to the Head Coach. Coach Thompson taught my husband the grind and encouraged him to never wait on people to tell him what to do. His advice was to “Just do it before I ever have to ask you, Brian”. That was in relation to any and everything. There was a time they were getting new flooring in the locker room: Coach didn’t want to pay anyone to pull up the old flooring so one weekend, they spent time pulling up the locker room floor themselves. I too, am thankful for Coach Thompson! He not only taught my husband a lot, but he instilled great lessons in me as well.

Before you look at the life we live now, and think it’s amazing; please know that there is definitely a back story. As Brian’s girlfriend then, I chose to stay the course because I knew that he was a grinder. I also knew it wouldn’t be easy, but because of my support and dedication to his grind, he promoted me to his Wife!

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  • Writer's picturekeya Collins

Lissssen! I’ve explained once before that I’ve never doubted my Husband’s journey to the top, but I have thought about getting off this roller coaster more times than I can count! If you’re the wife of a coach and have never had that piercing thought, Kudos to you! Let me start by saying; my Husband’s grind is unmatched and that is something I’ve loved about him, from the beginning! Even now, I am still in admiration of him and his grind!

Coaching can be draining for not only the Coach, but for the entire family. From practices, games, recruiting trips, film, never ending phone calls, etc. I’m sure you’re thinking “that’s not something the entire family is involved in”, but trust me! We’re involved. Recruiting trips sometimes run from mid-week, until the top of the following week. This means that the Coach is on the road and away from his family. Guess what this means for his Wife?? She is home tending to the kids and praying no one gets sick or hurt while Daddy is away. By the time he returns home, he’s exhausted from traveling, Mom is tired from nonstop going with kids, and the kids; well they are just happy Daddy’s home. Let’s not forget phone call season! This is when the phone is constantly glued to the Coach’s ear, while you are trying to get him to be engaged in what you have going on. This is also when he unsuccessfully attempts to multitask and causes you to say “just forget it!”

There are times when my husband has received phone calls, in the middle of the night, regarding the players. Of course, he has to immediately step in to resolve the issue. There has also always been large and small papers laying around the house; which contains plays. This has been the norm ever since our dating phase. If I decide to put them away, I better know where they are, when he needs them! And I DARE NOT throw them away! Talk about all hell breaking loose! Coaching is when your husband says, “Babe, can you cook something tonight? The players are coming over to watch the game”, and you have to drop everything to make a quick grocery store run. Coaching is when you are at dinner and your husband swears that the nineteenth call he receives, is “the most important call”. My husband has driven across States, for players that he was not sure would work out, just to prove his abilities to the Head Coach. He’s solved problems with players that his Head Coach had zero knowledge of. He’s attended every Final Four since becoming a Coach; just for networking purposes.

The grind has never stopped and it has been both exhausting and exhilarating. I love what coaching has brought to our family and I especially love seeing my Husband get rewarded for his hard work!

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