Doug Marrone’s wife Helen Marrone matched his rigid requirements for a mate, which he wrote down on a bar napkin and passed around a large group that he’d been hanging out with. Doug apparently was in the habit of writing out his strategies for how to coach players, and I guess finding a future wife was no different– just write out the requirements and send it along. So one of the girls in the group at the bar recommended a friend she knew, and that was Helen.
Helen had just graduated Boston College, and the girl at the bar who recommended her was her roommate from school. Helen was on her way to becoming a lawyer in Memphis, but they agreed to meet in her hometown of Nashville for a first date. Doug was on his way down to Atlanta to take a coaching job at Georgia Tech. And so it was that Helen Connelly, now Doug’s wife, became Helen Marrone. It’s that easy, single people. Write down your requirements and pass them around a table of people drinking beer, and all your hopes for a suitable soulmate shall be answered.
In fact, Doug’s wife Helen was roommates with none other than Colleen O’Brien, wife of Bill O’Brien, the head coach of the Houston Texans. Both Bill and Doug ended up as coaches at Georgia Tech, and everybody’s still good friends to this day. They go on camping trips and boating outings and that kind of stuff. Helen is actually the daughter of a well-respected head coach of Middle Tennessee State named Boots Donnelly. The guy was actually inducted into the college football hall of fame last year. So basically all of these people have been involved with coaching in some way for a long time. These are coaching folks, and Helen and Doug are planted solidly in their comfort zone.