One of the sad realities of the coaching business is that it doesn’t leave much time to be a dad.
The hours are long, and the work intense. There are coaches who have had their wives’ C-sections scheduled for Mondays so they could be there for the birth of their children (since that didn’t interfere with in-season game-planning), and more missed milestones than you can imagine. Families move so often as to never put down roots, taking away another possible support system.
That’s why having his son around is both gratifying and poignant for Arizona assistant head coach Russ Grimm. His son Chad is an offensive quality control coach, giving them more time together than most coaches get with their kids.
“On one hand, it’s great,” Russ told Darren Urban of AzCardinals.com. “On the other hand, you feel sorry for pulling him into this business.”
Urban’s story is worth a look because it shines some light on the less-glamorous aspects of the job few consider. Sure, kids grow up with access to the NFL others lack. But they also grow up used to the fact that for six or seven months a year, their father might blow in for an occasional game or dance recital, but otherwise be limited to Friday nights off.
So it was with mixed emotions that the elder Grimm welcomed his son in as a co-worker.
“You want to see your kids do well,” Russ said. “I was excited about (Chad) coming here, but I’m not going to tell him that.”
Still, there are times the moments are worth it, such as the 2010 game against Tampa Bay, when Cody Grimm lined up for the Buccaneers.
“That,” Grimm said, “was special.”
Grimm is fortunate to have such access to his son. But for too many coaches, those kind of moments are few and far between, squeezed into the five-week break between the end of minicamps and the start of training camps, and the long, lonely months between then and the end of the season.