For most people, football is a season which starts late August and travels throughout the fall into December’s spirited bowl games culminating with the national championship. To collegiate coaches wives, football is their life. For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, being married to a football coach is being married to the game. Through our intimate conversations with Division 1A collegiate coaches’ wives from across the country, Team FANtanista reveals the real stories behind American football. It’s really more than a game.
This week Team FANtanista had the opportunity to have a conversation with Charlene Sumlin who is married to Kevin Sumlin, Head Coach at Texas A & M University. Following you will learn firsthand “in her own words” what the collegiate football life is like for Charlene and her family.
HOWDY! I am so excited to be a part of the launch of this wonderful website! My name is Charlene Sumlin. I am married to Kevin and we have four awesome kids; two girls who are in high school and two boys in elementary school. Each of our kids was born in a different state. When we moved back to Texas, I assured everyone we had already covered Texas, so we would be done at four.
We live in College Station where Kevin coaches at Texas A&M University…WHOOP! I have the “bloom where you are planted” philosophy, so I have a fondness for everywhere we have lived…BUT I have made no secret of how much I love this place. College Station is a wonderful place to raise a family and I am grateful to be here.
When we got married, Kevin was already a full-time coach, so I felt as though I had some understanding as to what I was getting myself into, but it wasn’t until we had children that I thought “pretty sure I did not sign up for THIS.” Believe me when I say, I have had envy towards my fellow mommy whose husband is around to help many a Saturday morning as I am up getting my little guys dressed in football gear, or parent-teacher conferences (yes, she does have a father, yes we are still married) or school plays, basketball games, church programs, holidays…you name it. Being married to a coach is not easy, but the key to success, at least ours, is the understanding when he CAN be available, he is. And I am grateful he makes time to get them up and to school every morning, tuck them in when he gets home, go to church as a family, catch quarters or even minutes of their games or activities when he can or just spending time with him at his office. I tell myself, if I do MY job he CAN do his. I feel proud he doesn’t have to give a second thought to things getting taken care of at home. It’s not always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The closeness I have with each of my kids is so special, and I feel like I have that because they have had me there for EVERYTHING…and for these amazing relationships, I am so grateful.
Oh! The other key to success…other coaches wives! We are a tough bunch, for sure. And having one another to reach out to for help is so special. I could make this part of my blog entry and go on for days, but because I know other coaches wives are reading this, y’all already “get it”…so I will continue. I unwind by doing laundry. True story. There is no bigger satisfaction than having every piece of laundry cleaned, folded and put away.
We have a fun group here at TAMU called “Flab to Fab.” There are usually eight of us wives who meet three times a week and get our behinds kicked by a mean man we call “Heavy T.” I was going to take a picture of the group to share, but we have voted to ban all cameras from the torture sessions.
We also have a Coaches Wives Bible Study that meets once a week for coaches wives of ALL sports here at TAMU. The FCA puts this on for us and it is a really neat way to connect with each other in an environment that it safe, warm and understanding. So many opportunities for us to be lifted up by one another…I love that.
For those who are unfamiliar with Texas A&M, please take the time to visit http://aggietraditions.tamu.edu. I realize each and every school has unique traditions, but the traditions here truly are the fabric that makes this place so amazing. They are so important that as freshman, students are invited to take part in “Fish Camp” where they learn about their rich Aggie heritage. It’s pretty cool. Understanding these traditions makes everyone feel a real connection with this University that goes beyond football. Because so many of our families were unfamiliar with Texas A&M, we held our own “Fish Camp for Football Families” this year….so when the Yell Leaders were passing back a Yell at the first game, we didn’t miss a beat!