“One Shining Moment . . .” is the song played right after the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Champion is crowned. During the song there is a video collage of the tournament and of the winning team and their journey to the Final Four and ultimately to the championship – the hurdles that had to be overcome and the sacrifices that had to be made to become the best. The announcers talk about the 6:00 am weight training, the 200 free throws shot every practice, the study halls, and the late night practices – how all the hard work by the coaches and players got them to where they are now, cutting down the nets from the NCAA Championship Game.
I, on the other hand, am not focusing on the players on the court or the trophy presentation, but rather the coaches’ families in the stands. Undoubtedly, the camera will pan the crowd and settle on the coaches’ families hugging each other and crying. They are taken over by emotion because whatever hurdles the players had to jump and whatever sacrifices the players had to make the wives and children of these college coaches had to make tenfold. The emotions from these families are a physical release of what most of them had to endure for years and years. The climb to the top is full of disappointments, sacrifices, and rejections and the wives and children of these coaches are right there with them suffering through every rough turn in that road to the top. But at this moment, never again will they have to question if all the sacrifices were worth it. Never again will they have to listen to their husband/father question his ability as a coach. Never again will they have to defend their husband/father to the media, boosters, alumni, that, yes, he can coach and he can recruit. I get a tear in my eye watching these families explode with emotion because I understand what the coaches’ wives and families had to endure to get to that place because I am the wife of a collegiate basketball coach.
Sure, winning the NCAA is the epitome, but let’s face it, only a few coaches are going to get that experience even though it is what they all strive towards. What about the other 321 head coaches and over 1000 assistant coaches who don’t reach the top? Well, I am here to tell you that ninety percent of them will never become a household name and never receive any glory but they work just as hard to win, dragging their families with them every step of the way.