Meet Annette Tommerdahl, wife of Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Receivers Coach at University of California Berkeley. A unique part of the business for the Tommerdahls is frequently running into other coaches and players they have worked with at other schools. They enjoy seeing former players do well, start their own families and then eventually seeing some of their sons play football!
Describe yourself in four words: “I am a pretty disciplined and motivated person and I would hope friendly and approachable are also representative words of who I am.”
The motto you live by: “I don’t have a specific motto but I do want to continually strive to be where the Lord wants me to be and be doing what He wants me to be doing. That is both my daily and long-term goal.”
Your favorite book: “I would have to say the Bible.”
Favorite movie star: “This may date me, but I would have to say Harrison Ford (as she says with a little chuckle).”
Walk us through “college football Saturday” for you and your family: “We don’t have any children as part of the equation, but Mark and I do have our own routine. We typically get up fairly early and workout on game day. After he goes to work, I will try to watch Game Day on ESPN – I at least have it on in the background. Sometimes Mark will come home for a quick break mid-day, but not always. I usually head to the stadium about two hours early and get ready for the game.
We have been fortunate to coach in lots of different places. We have been at University of Wyoming, University of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, TCU, University of Alabama, Texas A & M, Louisiana Tech and now UC Berkeley. It’s definitely an adventure! I have enjoyed all of the moves and have learned something new at each place. Every move has forced me to grow and change which is so rewarding. We are really blessed to have this exposure to new people and places and to have a bigger world.”
Does Coach Mark have any game day superstitions? “No, he really does not. We have a routine, but not really any superstitions.”
How about your game day superstitions? “I don’t have any superstitions either, but I have to tell you I will never ever wear an outfit again if we lost badly when I wore it!”
Your game day fashion statement: “My game day fashion has varied through the years and has depended upon where we have lived. It has often been dictated by culture and climate. I have worn everything from jeans with a sweatshirt to dresses. Now I tend to wear jeans, boots and a fun top or jacket. At UC Berkeley I am told it might be kind of chilly so I am thinking I may need to focus on warm sweaters and wraps or coats this year.”
Who is your fashion icon? Or, if you could, whose (famous person or not) wardrobe would you want to have? “My fashion icon is Jackie Kennedy. I like her style because I love things simple, classic and tailored.”
How did you meet your husband? “We met at a hockey game in college. I was actually attending the hockey game with his roommate. It was a date with the roommate (Annette says with a little chuckle). . . but. . . about 6 months later Mark and I started dating. We dated for 3 years and have been married for 29.”
What is your favorite aspect of being a college football coach’s wife? “I don’t know if there is one favorite thing but certainly the relationships with the players are important. The competition and having something you work together on has always been important to me as well. It is an amazing experience to be part of the team environment. I feel the concept of a team environment and competition is somewhat lost in our culture today. I also love the game of football so I enjoy watching the games.”
Please share any community organizations or special projects you support or are affiliated with and why. “I have focused on my career wherever we have lived, so that has really dominated my time. I have always worked in higher education and have had several different positions, including faculty member, student affairs, academic affairs and others. As a result of being a coach’s wife and being involved in college football, I have had the great experience of being affiliated with so many universities across the country. Had it not been for college football, I wouldn’t have had nearly the rich and varied career experiences I have had.”