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Russ Grimm fortunate, as many NFL coaches lack time with family

Arizona Cardinals Training Camp Getty Images

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.

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7 Responses to “Russ Grimm fortunate, as many NFL coaches lack time with family”
  1. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Jun 17, 2012 5:03 PM

    I’m disappointed in myself for not knowing that Russ had a son as coach with the cards. But how many of us know OQC coaches.

  2. daddyargue says: Jun 17, 2012 5:52 PM

    On Wednesday I make my 5th deployment. Thankfully its only 10 months long, but I will miss more mile stones with my family in those ten months than they will miss in a coaching career. I don’t feel bad for them. His son will make more as an assistant this year than I will make in my miltary career so this article is hardly news worthy.

  3. duanethomas says: Jun 17, 2012 6:24 PM

    Great for Russ who now gets to know and be around his son…..not so great for Chads wife. Maybe for his grandson in 25 odd years he can get to know Chad. Now give me thumbs down, but coaching his hard on the kids and leaves them open to so much stuff…I.e. Nate Websters of the world.

  4. oilman989 says: Jun 17, 2012 6:35 PM

    Russ Grimm is “sorry for pulling [his son] him into this business” (??) Are you frickin’ kidding me???

    A) If his son didn’t want to dedicate himself to the long, arduous hours and equally intensive work load, he could’ve had a heart-to-heart with pops and chosen a different line of work.

    B) It’s difficult for me to feel sorry for anyone who, as an assistant coach in the NFL, has one of the most 640 coveted jobs in this country.

    It’s real simple, folks. Nepotism works.

  5. youcantmakemepickausername says: Jun 17, 2012 7:03 PM

    Stories like this are why i’ve never really bought into the whole “Peyton Manning will be a great QB coach” or “Jamie Moyer will be a great pitching coach” one day theories.

    sure, they could be. But who knows if they want to be? They had long careers and seem to have been wise with their money, so they have plenty of post-playing days options that don’t involve ungodly long hours and time spent away from family.

    Now, guys like Grimm (and Munchak and singletary) were also great players that probably don’t need the money that DID choose to get into coaching, so who the hell knows. So basically i have no idea.

  6. dan39564 says: Jun 17, 2012 7:29 PM

    It’s a nice story, but hard to sympathize, when you think of the US military serving their country around the globe. When my first daughter was born in Philadelphia, Pa. I learned about it via a telegram message sent to my ship off of Naples Italy. She was born in July and I didn’t lay eyes upon her till September!

  7. chrisbntx says: Jun 18, 2012 7:45 AM

    I guess this is a nice story about a dad and son getting to work together but please don’t talk about the sacrifice these guys are making to coach a game. My brother and his wife scheduled a C-section for their child because he works a two week on/off schedule, it is quite common these days. I was offshore in Africa when my wife miscarried her first pregnancy and I couldn’t make it home for several days to be with her. Of course this is nothing compared to the military who seperate themselves from their families for months or more at a time. I understand what the story was going for but to act like these guys are something special because they sacrafice what millions of other working parents/spouses do while making a lot more money is insulting.

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