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The life of a football coach
"I spend my life waiting," said Kathy Nolan as she waits for her husband, 49ers head coach, Mike Nolan (lft) to get out of a meeting. Every Tuesday Kathy comes to visit her husband, with cookies in hand and personal business to attend to, at his office in the 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. Mike Kepka / The Chronicle Photo taken on 12/4/07, in Santa Clara, CA, USA MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOG AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/NO SALES MAGS OUT
Photo: Mike Kepka
"I spend my life waiting," said Kathy Nolan as she waits for her. The wives of football coaches. We visit with Layla Kiffin wife of Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin. Their daughters Presley, 1 and Landry, 2, also their dog Lobo. Michael Macor / The Chronicle Photo taken on 11/14/07, in Pleasanton, CA, USA MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOG AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/NO SALES MAGS OUT
Photo: Michael MacorNobody knows the life of a football coach's wife better than Mac Gibbs' wife, Dixie. Her guy works longer hours than a presidential candidate. Their daughter is ridiculed in school because dad's team is losing. Nobody has to ask if he's had a good or bad week: It's up there on the scoreboard and in the media for the world to see.
"Being a football coach," Dixie said, "is not like being a banker, where if you're clever enough you can tamper with the credits and debits and maybe get away with it."
Behind a lot of married coaches is somebody like , even though Dixie Gibbs doesn't exist. She's the creation of novelist , who was married for 23 years to Al Kincaid, a former college head coach. When they divorced, she swore off three groups of men: "credit card people, criminals and football coaches." A few years later, she married Dick Tomey, now the San Jose State coach, proving that life comes with its own trick plays.
NFL and top college head coaches generally are multimillionaires, but they serve at the pleasure of others, people who know how to wield an ax. Their families typically lead nomadic existences; when coaches are under fire, the families usually get to share the pain. The wives and even the kids need to develop a thick skin, according to the wives of three prominent Bay Area coaches.
Kincaid was writing the book "Balls" in the late 1990s when she started dating Tomey. It's told from the point of view of the various women involved in the life of a college coach who rises to national prominence in the 1970s, then falls out of favor, and sacrifices his family in the process. The protagonist is the long suffering Dixie, whose daughter authentic coach online outlet asks her: "Are coach outlet online factory they going to fire Dad?"
"No, sweetheart, not if they're smart."
"But, Mom, what if they're not smart?"
When Mike and 's children were young, the couple rarely took them to games.
"We just said that's Mike's job. He just wants to be a dad. (Parenthood) is what's important to him," Kathy Nolan said. "I've seen a lot of (coaches') kids really stressed out because of their dad's job."
This dad's job is head coach of the 49ers, whose 3 9 record in his third year has brought a storm of public criticism, including calls for his coach factory outlets firing.
Sitting in her husband's office in black friday coach outlet Santa Clara, Kathy Nolan, 50, said 24 coach outlet authentic years of marriage and eight moves have helped her weather the pitfalls of coaching, the arrows of the media and the hostility of frustrated fans.
"If anything, I feel more for the kids than I do for me," she said. "I don't have to go to school and hear ugly things said about my husband."
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