FHS coaches lead kids at home, on the field
Ten coaches on the Fredericksburg High School coaching staff carry their love for their sport onto the fields and courts and share each experience, good and bad, with their closest family — their children.
“My favorite thing about having my dad as my coach is whenever I’m playing a match, sometimes I get really frustrated, and my dad will come up to me and give me encouragement,” Cameron Hohn, daughter of tennis coach, Donald Hohn, said.
Encouragement and drive are a coach’s job, but love and support come with the role of being a father. Being a “coach’s kid” can sometimes have a down side, too.
“The hardest thing about having my dad as a coach is the judgment from other people,” Hasting Wilson, son of football coach Bo Wilson, said. “People think they know you because your dad is a coach. They think you have everything made and are treated better.”
Separating home life and coaching life can be a struggle for some. Pushing a child to meet expectations and then seeing them succeed can be a hard and rigorous job for many fathers.
“I think I am harder on Taylor,” head powerlifting coach, Bill Wilder, said about his daughter. “I don’t feel like our relationship has changed since becoming her coach. We have always been close, but there are times she probably wishes I was a little bit less of a coach and had a more sympathetic ear.”
The children of coaches said they have grown up with their role model giving examples of hard work and putting effort into everything. All of the kids stated how their relationships have strengthened from having a loving figure push them.
“I have meaningful interactions on a daily basis with my son,” basketball coach Randall Watson said about his youngest son, JT. “We have the opportunity to share experiences, both good and bad, to celebrate and commiserate. How rewarding is that?”
Coaches can be put into a sticky situation when it comes to having a child athlete in their program.
“Being a coach’s son or daughter is not the bed of roses everyone thinks it is,” head basketball coach, Tim Kaman, whose father also coached his 1985 regional finalist basketball team, said. “I have been on both ends of the spectrum, as the son of a coach and the coach of a son. You just have to do the best you can.”
Whether or not coaching fathers express their pride and love on the field or court, every father was eager to state how proud of their children they were. The admiration these coaches have for not only all the athletes in their programs, but also for their children who step onto the playing field as teammates was apparent.
“My favorite thing about coaching Dax would be watching him grow up, seeing him grow into a young man as we go,” head baseball coach, Derrick Dietrich, said. “It kind of opens your eyes that you take it for granted early on and think it is going to last forever. The respect we have for each other now is the best thing.”
Many fathers have watched their children grow and be shaped into not only great athletes, but young men and women. The multitude of coaches, including head soccer coach, Shannon Petsch and football coaches Geoffrey Huff and Joel Handley have also had a hand in their children’s athletic and academic lives.
“One of the things we tell parents is that we coach their kid like they’re our own, and having coaches with kids on our teams lets us show that in a real way,” Athletic Director Lance Moffett said. “It does give us an opportunity to show that we are truly a Billie family, which is important in our teams.”