FANtanista Zone reaches behind the bench to talk with Kelly Buh, wife of Andy Buh, Defensive Coordinator, University of California Berkeley. As a sports producer in San Diego, while doing a story on the San Diego Football team she decided to build a sports story on a loud, but positive coach on the field. Who knew this coach who caught her eye would be her future husband?
Describe yourself in four words: “Messy Mom Seeks Help!”
The motto you live by: “I don’t have a motto, but my mom always reminds me, ‘Life is what you make of it.’” And of course, whenever I get a bad attitude, I can hear my mom’s voice in my head…mocking me. Ha!”
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
- Health and happiness for all of my friends and family.
- That my boys grow up to be men of strong character like their dad.
- That Cal goes to the Rose Bowl this year. (duh!)
Walk us through college football Saturday for you and your family: “We have a 3-year-old and 5-month-old so they’re not really in the sit-still-and-watch-the-game-stage yet. Plus they go to bed early. So if it’s a night game, I’ll put the kids to bed and watch the game at home on TV. But if it’s a day game we’ll get to the game early and tailgate with the other families. Our HC’s wife, Kate Dykes, has arranged for us to have a room for the coaches’ families to tailgate in and the kids can hang out there during the games with babysitters if they can’t sit through the whole game. It’s so awesome that Sonny & Kate are doing this for us because it means the moms can actually watch the game instead of chasing our kids!
Aside from the games, it is really fun for us to go to practices. My oldest son can run around on the field and see his dad. It’s also a great way for us to get to know the players and make the football team feel more like a big family.”
Favorite way to spend any down time with Coach Buh: “On the rare occasion he has down time we love to just spend time together as a family. But Andy and I do try to fit in date nights. We love trying different restaurants – sushi is our favorite! And sometimes we’ll watch a movie. We’re pretty exciting.”
Your game day fashion statement: “I am super satisfied at this stage in my life if I get out the door with matching shoes! If I fix my hair it is a big deal! My game day fashion is more “survival” than “statement” probably just jeans and a Cal t-shirt because, let’s be honest, whatever I wear is going to have baby spit-up or food all over it by the end of the day.”
Who is your fashion icon? Or, if you could, whose (famous person or not) wardrobe would you want to have? “I really like the California casual look so I’d say Kate Hudson or Jennifer Aniston. If you gave me an extra wish it would be for a stylist to put my outfits together every day. And for world peace, of course.”
How did you meet your husband? “I was a sports producer in San Diego. I had to do a story on the San Diego State football team. So I went to practice to see if anyone stood out. I noticed this coach who was super loud but everything he was saying was really positive. So I decided to build the story around ‘that guy.’
After the story aired, I went out on a limb and gave him my number and…he never called! Now his version of the story is a little different than mine, but long story short, I moved away for a couple years then moved back to San Diego. God gave Andy a second chance to get it right. (haha!)
On our first date he showed up at my door in a t-shirt and sweatpants as he forgot to bring an extra set of clothes to his office. It was at that moment I realized I really liked this guy. He had no agenda. He was the real deal. We dated for about a year and then we were engaged and have been married for 7 years.”
As a reporter did you realize what the wives experience in the college football profession? “When you interview athletes and coaches you can understand the sport & what happens on the field. But you don’t have any true understanding of how the game affects families attached to those people until you’re in it.”
Does your husband have any game day rituals or superstitions? “Not really. He’s not superstitious at all. He’s just really focused. Our oldest son, Luke, will probably just give him a high five and a ‘Go Bears!’ It’s a little thing, but I think it takes away some of that game day tension. Just a little reminder that family loves him no matter what the game outcome is. That being said, we DO always want to win.”
Your game day superstitions: “If I am at home watching the game on television I can’t sit down. I stand up and clean the entire time! I am a stress eater and a stress cleaner so my house is spotless after a game and all the leftovers in the fridge are gone!”
First thing you do when you wake up in the morning: “I beg Luke to go back to bed because he usually wakes up at 5:30 or 6 am! I basically wake up to a 3-year-old’s imagination. So sometimes I’m having swordfights before I’ve had coffee.”
Was there ever a time or event in your life that changed you as a person? “I don’t really have a specific event but my dad is a pilot and we moved a lot when I was a kid. This absolutely prepared me for what I am living now being married to a coach. I love meeting people and making friends across the country. And now that we have kids, we try to make our life as normal as possible. You experience a lot of transitions in a coaching family. And that can be hard. But our kids have a unique experience. Because family is a big priority for Coach Dykes, staff families & kids are always welcome in the office and at practices. Our kids get to be a part of their dad’s work – on the field and at the office with them. That’s pretty special and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”
Community Organizations you are involved in: “In the past I’ve volunteered with Reading Partners – an organization that provides one-on-one reading tutoring to students in under-resourced schools. Also, I try to find a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group wherever I go. Finding a group of women in the same stage of life you’re in is a huge help when you move to a new place. It’s an organization I recommend to moms of young kids.”