The Big Ten has such a great college basketball atmosphere. I got to witness some of the most talented players in the Big Ten and be in the presence of such college coaching icons as Bobby Knight, Tom Izzo, Lon Kruger, and Bo Ryan. Though sometimes life takes over and you forget to what a special environment you are privy. An environment any sports fan would kill to be a part of every day. The college basketball atmosphere is special and sometimes it is nice to glance at it from someone’s perspective who is not living in it every day. Like the time we had a friend come in from out of town to watch a game. He was a die-hard basketball fan. During the game I was talking to one of the other wives about a dessert recipe and he looked at me and said, “Bobby Knight is standing 25 feet away from us and you are talking about recipes!” You forget that only a small minority of the population gets to live in the bowels of college basketball every day of their lives and what is ordinary to you is extraordinary to someone else.
Most people think that the life of a coach’s family is glamorous and full of perks. I can tell you that no one cares about the wife, especially an assistant coach’s wife. Tickets and a parking pass are about all the perks we receive. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that it is not the wife and kids that have the great life. It’s the friends of the coach that have the great life and enjoy all the perks. While we are the ones who have to put up with the coaching lifestyle – the job changes, the moves, the absentee father , and the holiday circus – the friends get to come home every night to their families, they celebrate Christmas on the correct date, and they don’t have to pick up and move every few years. They get to lead a normal life but if they ever want tickets, parking pass, or locker room visits all they have to do is call their buddy, the coach. In addition, if the coach switches schools he usually doesn’t hang onto the gear from the old school so he passes it out to all of his friends. It isn’t just generic t-shirts but rather shoes, sweat suits, jackets, winter coats, hats, shorts, sweat shirts, and golf shirts from Nike, Adidas or Reebok. It is good quality gear.