One of our favorite parts about working around and in professional sports for now a combined 20-years is the wide range of people you meet at games, workouts, in the gym or on the field…especially the guys who balance both “work” with fatherhood. Talking sports and the ups and downs about being a dad at the same time really doesn’t get much better, so that’s why — from sports writers, to players, stay-at-home dads, coaches, the divorced-dad, announcers, bring-to-practice-and-the-game dad, authors, the janitor and the GM’s, sports brands and sports business bros — we are rolling out this Sports Dad Series to help share those stories on the Same 8 Questions about juggling sports and fatherhood. Our hope — words of wisdom for new dads, veteran dads and the dads in pro sports to keep family first (right after you check the score of the game). Thanks for reading and make sure to stay connected with us on social (Twitter – Instagram – Facebook). – Wendell Maxey and Gino Pilato
Do your kids (daughter/sons) know what you do for a living?
Absolutely! My kids have been involved in basketball as long as I can remember. They go on road trips with me, attend practices & games, and even hang out in the locker room. My sons both hope to get into coaching. My 6-year-old daughter cheerleads right alongside our University cheerleaders.
What is the key to juggling fatherhood and your profession?
Involving the kids in my job is key. Having them around as much as possible gets extra quality time in. My wife has our daughter come hang at the office with me sometimes. Both of my sons come along on road trips when they can. It’s also imperative to put my work aside, and take the time to attend school meetings, games, etc… It’s not always easy to find that time, but it’s something that is important to me.
What’s the hardest part about being a dad?
Knowing that as a basketball coach, I’m going to miss important moments in my kids’ lives due to my work schedule. Last season, our CBI championship game ended up being on the same day as my daughter’s dance recital. I hated to miss it. It’s always tough to not be with my kids on holidays and birthdays.
What does quality time with your kids (daughter/sons) away from “work” look like?
Our favorite place to be is on the beach. All three of my kids love it, and my mom lives less than a mile from the beach in San Diego. We try to head there on long weekends and breaks from school.
Biggest word of advice you can give to first time dads in the business
Make sure that your wife understands the hours and commitment that your job takes. Always remember that family is more important than the job.
What is your most embarrassing public moment thus far as a parent?
It’s hard to be a coach and then watch your kids getting coached by someone else. My wife always tells me to just observe and stay uninvolved, but that’s really hard to do.
What are some helpful tips to balancing Dad time and work time during the season?
During the season it’s hard to find a balance, but we always try to have dinner together during the week. I also leave right after the home games to spend time with my wife and kids.
How are you like your Dad?
I could write a book on that. I always wanted to follow in his (Bill Musselman, the late and former NBA head coach) footsteps. He wasn’t only my dad, he was my best friend. Most people would say that we are most alike when it comes to competitiveness.
Bonus – Your favorite coaching book?
Bill Walsh, ‘Finding the Winning Edge’
About Eric Musselman
Eric Musselman began his coaching career in 1989 in the CBA, has coached in the NBA Development League (2012 Coach of the Year), NBA, internationally, and most recently at the college level (Arizona State, LSU). Eric Musselman now serves as head basketball coach at the University of Nevada-Reno. Connect with him on Twitter at @EricPMusselman