Kelly Golden, wife of Al Golden, University of Miami

Kelly GoldenMeet Kelly Golden, wife of Al Golden, Head Coach at the University of Miami.  The Goldens have been married for 9 years and Kelly jumped into marriage fully knowing what she was getting into.  She wouldn’t change her life for anything!

How did you meet your husband?  “We met a Penn State University.  We both went to school there.  Al came back and was coaching and I was working in the football office for Coach Paterno.  He left and went to the University of Virginia to coach and I stayed close with him.  I went to see him and fell in love with the campus.  I applied to graduate school and began the program.  The night before I graduated from graduate school he proposed and here we are.”

What are you most looking forward to this football season?  “I find with children, and especially as they get older, it brings another level of excitement and challenge to the season.  Our son is now excited for the season and follows all the teams in our conference.  It will be fun to see him get involved this year.  When he was younger it did not really matter if we won or lost, but now it matters.  He gets really sad if we have a loss.  Having children has made me become more aware of how I react.  I need to be careful about how I am responding to game day situations.  One thing I do is always make a plan for Sundays.  I have something planned for my kids and myself.  If there is a loss and there is nothing to do it is difficult.  Sundays are a family day.  Dad is gone so I make sure we do something as a family.”

What is your biggest fear?  “The thing I am worried about is the fact our family’s livelihood rests in the hands of 17, 18, 19 and 20-year-old kids.  That can keep you up at night.  Ultimately the win and losses are the results of the kids.  On and off the field they need to make good decisions.  All of their actions can affect our future.”

Kelly Golden 2Walk us through “college football Saturday” for you and your family:  “Living in Miami, we have tons of visitors.  The majority of home games we have family or friends attend.  Our stadium has great food, so we don’t eat much before the game. We arrive at the stadium 1 ½ hours before the game.  We try not to schedule sporting events for our kids in the fall and it is still manageable because they are at young ages.  Our Saturdays in the fall are all about football.  After the game my son goes to the locker room and I take the girls onto the field so they can run around while we wait for their dad.  We go home after the game and crash.  We are all exhausted.”

Your game day superstitions:  “Al’s first job was at Temple University in Philadelphia.  We would always make plans for after the game and have everyone back to the house.  If we would lose it always turned out awful.  We would have all these people at the house and my husband would just want to be by himself.  I learned from this experience never to plan anything after the game.  If we decide we would like to have people over I call for takeout food and have it delivered.  I don’t plan for food ahead; we think it is a bad omen.”

Your game day fashion statement:  “At Miami, anything goes.  Your style can vary no matter what.  I cannot plan ahead of time what I am going to wear. I like to do something with the school colors. I don’t really wear school gear.  I like to have orange or green jewelry.  I feel like less is more.”

In the event Coach Golden receives any down time what is it we would find him doing?  “You would find him golfing with his son or at the beach with the family.”

Your favorite thing about being a college football coach’s wife:  “My favorite thing is the people we meet and the places we have seen.  Football has taken us outside of our comfort zone.  All of the coaches and their wives are so great.  The wives have such similar personalities.  They are strong, independent and are comfortable running the show.  They are able to make decisions without having to wait for their husbands.  I love to get other wives opinions and what they have done in certain situations.  They understand our husbands can’t go to the game when our children are playing. This is our life and we support each other.  It is also great to see all the places we get to visit when we travel to other games.”

Your biggest surprise as a college football coach’s wife:  “My biggest surprise is the major emotional roller coaster this profession is.  There is no happy medium.  You are on a high from a win or a low from losing.  It can be both mentally and physically exhausting.  You do not experience quite this much pressure in other professions.  I never relax.”

The motto you live by:  “The way I look at things to even out this emotional roller coaster is to say, ‘This too will pass.’  Instead of getting too happy after a win I think about just moving on to the next chapter.  I know the players and coaches will get ready for the next week. When we have had a down week I try to think that we were not the only team in the country who had a loss.  This will pass and next week is another week.”

Additional thoughts:  “I would like people to know I love this life.  I want new coaching wives and their families to know there are so many amazing experiences they will get to have.  I wouldn’t change it for anything.  Every coach loves what he does.  I would rather be married to someone who works a million hours but loves what he does than be with someone who is not happy.  We are blessed.”