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Four NFL coaches dish advice on balancing family, marriage, and coaching


The NFL Network's Andrea Kremer recently did a great sit down with four current NFL coaches (John Harbaugh, Rex Ryan, Bruce Arians and Tom Coughlin) about how working at the pinnacle of the coaching profession affects a family life, and their marriage.

Watch the full thing here. If any video has ever been worth 7 minutes of your time, it's this candid roundtable discussion.

Below, I've included some of the finer points of the interview, broken down by head coach. But some of the moments, like coach Ryan and coach Harbaugh sharing how they won't let the coaching profession come between them and the milestones of their kids' lives have to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Rex Ryan:

On missing the birth of one of his kids: "I missed one. NOT recommended." he explained. "It was my first year coaching in the National Football League, I was coaching under my father in Arizona, and you know how you're also fighting that 'nepotism' talk and all that stuff."

"I was actually at a mini-camp, and my wife was like two days over, but she was still teaching. She was supposed to hang in there like two more days," he joked. "Then I got that call, and I realized how stupid it was that I wasn't there. That's my biggest regret in coaching."

On where he stands in the hierarchy at home:"We may be the head coach, but we're not the head coach of the house."

On the two types of coaches wives:"There are two types of coaches wives. Good ones, and ex-ones...and there is so much truth to that."

"One of the reasons that all of us are in the positions we are in, is because of our wives."


Bruce Arians:

On keeping a marriage and family together in the coaching profession:"You've got to have a very special woman. I have moved mine 16 times."

"The worst thing that happened is my daughter had to go to 9th, 10th, and 11th grade to different schools. Then I told her, 'I will not move you your 12th grade year.' Then they fired me, and I moved. So she stayed."

On family life after football season:Arian's says that his wife has told him "You're not here for six months, don't come in here and try to run the show."


Tom Coughlin:

On what is non-negotiable from his wife: "She has to have five days at the end of the season, she calls it her contract. We're going, there is no dispute, there is no discussion."

On life after football season:"It used to be that after the season was over, I'd come in and start giving orders." Coughlin noted that his wife would look at him and say, "Who do you think you are? You just got here, I've been running the ship here for four, five, six months and you haven't even been around."

"You learn your place real quick."


John Harbaugh: 

On family life after football season: "All I know is that when the season is over, and they finally get us back, and we start getting involved in the daily routine, I ALWAYS get scolded." Harbaugh notes that his wife says "Hey, we have a routine, you can come along, but don't mess up my schedule."

In closing, I just wanted to note how interesting it was to me to see the similar experiences that we can all draw on as coaches, especially those of us that are married and/or with families. Whether you coach in the NFL, or at the high school level, we can all relate to each one of their stories in one way or another.

Regardless of level, as coaches, we're not all that different. We all face similar trials, tribulations, and successes, and this interview is a great example of that.