Love, Mrs. Coach (Part 2)


They’re gentlemen. They’re kind. They’re passionate. They’re coachable. They’re crazy and goofy and immature and hilarious. They’re good guys. Our girls (ages 2 and 3) are beyond smitten. We are always greeted with hugs and high-fives. The players sit on our couch and read books to our children. They paint fingernails of toddlers and actually listen when my 2 year old tries to tell them something in her own language. The guys will chase them and flip them and carry them on their shoulders as long as my kids keep asking. We love our guys.

Our guys’ girlfriends are equally as awesome. They’re supportive and encouraging and patient with the crazy basketball schedule we all endure. I’ve loved having “watch parties” (aka ice cream parties) when our guys play on the road. We are able to eat ice cream, bond, girl-talk (did I mention the ice cream?) and share common ground because of these guys. I personally prefer home games, because I love to watch the guys play in person and not say bye to my husband, but having these girls over for away games has made road games so much more enjoyable! Girlfriends, you play such a vital role and I am so thankful for each of you!

And don’t even get me started on our players' parents/families. Kind words, notes of encouragement, random gift cards, thoughtful trinkets/toys/candy for our girls, sweet texts, and the list goes on. We have the best parents/families. Hands down.

Despite having great players, awesome girlfriends and amazing families, being a coach’s family isn’t at all glamorous. But SURPRISE, we aren’t in it for the glamour!


Chances are, they probably won’t be “players” anymore after their 4 years of college ball. Do you know what they’ll be after that? Husbands, fathers, leaders, teachers, coaches, and influencers wherever they go. Don’t get me wrong. We want to win games. We really want to win games. But our ultimate goal is for our guys to win at life. To show Jesus to their family and others all around them every day. To win the ultimate prize of “Well done, my good and faithful servant."  To become coaches who have the same influence and can teach the next generation, by example, what it looks like to live by faith. To somehow balance a crazy schedule and still remember what is important in this life. People.

And somehow, the not-so-glamorous late nights, long hours, and unseen challenges are totally and completely worth it.

Julie Wingreen

Love, Mrs. Coach (Part 1)

Love, Mrs. Coach

I don't know what first comes to your mind when you think of the role of a coach, but I'll tell you what I used to think.

Someone who shows up on game day to call the plays. And there we have it. A coach. Not until I married a coach, did I fully understand the TRUE meaning of a coach. It sounds so cliche to say that being a coach is more than just a job, but I'm afraid that's true. 

My husband doesn't just coach on the basketball court. He coaches in his office, in our home, in the locker room, in the urgent care clinic, in his car, and at Firehouse Subs.

My husband doesn't just work when the shot clock is running. He doesn't just care about our players during practice. He doesn't only invest in our players on game days. 


My husband cares more about developing your son as a man, than as just a player.

My husband hurts when your son hurts.

My husband is up late emailing your sons teachers, making sure your son is meeting the criteria in the classroom.

My husband cares where your son goes after he graduates.

My husband drops everything when your son needs a ride to the Urgent care clinic and you're not here.

My husband sits in the urgent care clinic until 1:00am waiting for your son to receive care and to give him a ride back to campus. And possibly a pharmacy run in there too. Oh, and food, because the dining hall is closed at 2:00am.

My husband drives states away to pick up your son because you have a schedule you need to keep.

My husband's heart breaks when your son feels emotional or physical pain.

My husband prays for your son every day.

My husband loves your son while you are miles and states away.

My husband has seen your son cry.

My husband checks in on your son daily.

My husband stays up late into the night (and often morning) drawing plays and watching film.

My husband bites his tongue when your son is disrespectful, so that he doesn't embarrass your son in front of the team.

My husband cares about your sons life even when he's home on break.

My husband loves your son.

Dear parent,
Please trust your sons coach. He loves your son too. Please teach your son humility and to have respect for authority.


My husband loves you. I know that you know this because I hear him tell you.

My husband stays up at night (while you're sleeping) emailing your teachers trying to help you stay eligible. Because a semester away from basketball would only allow you to get into trouble.

My husband wants you to succeed on the court AND in life.

My husband prays for you.

My husband would do anything for you.

My husband makes decisions that I'm sure seem crazy to you. But I can assure you, he has your very best interest in mind.

My husband stays up late thinking/praying/worrying about the struggles you're facing that you've shared with him.

My husband cares about your relationships with people. Yes, even your girlfriend.

My husband has bigger dreams for you than just playing ball.

My husband has covered for you, more times than you know. He supports you and has your back at times that you have no idea about.

My husband would not and does not talk badly about you. To anyone.

My husband believes in you more than you believe in yourself.

Dear player,
I hope you coach someday and you look back and remember all of the time, sweat, and tears that have been invested in you. I hope you call your coach and tell him how much you love him. I hope you invest in and love your players, so they can call you and thank you for your humility.

So why do I think that coaching is more than just a job? Because most jobs are done using your head, but coaching requires a lot more of the heart. 

Love, Mrs. Coach

This blog post was written by my wife, Julie.  I am truly humbled and honored to be a coach and I'm thankful for all of the opportunities that God gives us as coaches to impact lives.  The true definition of a coach starts and ends with their heart.  Thank you, coaches, for all you do!

Connecting With Players

The difference between a pest and a guest is an invitation.
— Joshua Medcalf

My desire as a coach is to connect with our players and build genuine, lasting relationships. I want to be a trustworthy mentor so that when something happens in their life and they need advice, I can be counted on.  


Our job as coaches is to push players to become better both on and off the court.  Sometimes this requires us to say things to our players that they don't want to hear.  Although we  constantly encourage and applaud our players successes, we also criticize and point out their flaws quite a bit, too.  And which one do you think most players dwell on and remember?  

Well, that depends.

Connect before you direct.
— Jamie Gilbert

As coaches, we need to pour our hearts into our players.  We need to invite them into our lives and make an effort to be transparent with them.  We need to be willing to share our experiences because we have been there too.  It is foolish of us to expect our players to feel a connection with us if the only interaction we have with them is on the court or during required team meetings.  There needs to be more.  We need to get into their world and be vulnerable.  They are going through a lot and it is our responsibility to be there for them.  We are only able to do that when we establish a sincere connection with them as people.  

I'm convinced that if I can authentically connect with our players off the court, they will respect me and listen to me on the court.  Now, the applause and encouragement means so much more to them and they know that when I criticize and correct, I am doing it because I believe in them.  


No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.