NCAA Wives and Girlfriends (WAGS)

03/27/15

Lon Kruger's Wife Barbara Kruger

 

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Lon Kruger's wife Barbara Kruger grew up six miles from his hometown of Silver Lake, Kansas. As you might expect from a coach, he and his wife would be considered prominent and giving members of their community. They're well known for charity events and fundraisers. Barbara serves on something called the Safe Nest Domestic Violence Shelter board of directors, and as you might expect, their mission is to shelter kids and wives from abusive partners.

Aside from that, Barbara was a member of the board for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. This was back in the days when Lon was coaching UNLV. Back then, Lon Kruger's wife Barbara Kruger was also a chairwoman for the Las Vegas Paradise Sertoma's basketball clinic for deaf and hard of hearing students. Deaf basketball sounds just like regular basketball, but I tend to imagine the referees wave big yellow flags to call fouls instead of blowing whistles. I'm sort of curious about how that works, actually.

Barbara met Lon when Lon was in college, and they planned to marry soon after he graduated. That all depended on whether or not he would be drafted into the NBA. He was only 5'11", and he spent one season playing for an Israel team before he decided to simply move back to Kansas and get married. Lon Kruger's wife Barbara Kruger didn't get into the relationship just because she thought Lon might become an NBA player. They've had two kids: Angie and Kevin. Angie is a gynecologist, and Kevin has actually spent some time in the NBADL and currently plays for a team in Germany. Man, it's hard to be an NBA player. Kevin also played for his dad at UNLV for a couple of years, which must have been kind of weird. Barbara is proud of her family, and she did a good job raising two kids.

03/26/15 (Updated)

Dave Doeren's Wife Sara Doeren

 

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Dave Doeren's wife Sara Doeren grew up in Chariton, Iowa, a small town of about 4300 people located about 54 miles south of Des Moines. One thing I can tell you about the couple is that they definitely did not meet in high school (as a lot of coaching couples tend to). Dave grew up in Kansas. They've had three sons: Jacob, Luke, and Connor. In fact, Sara met Dave while he was a graduate assistant at Drake.

As with pretty much any coaching couple ever, Dave Doeren's wife is left to raise the kids herself. I don't mean that in a bad way, but that's how it is as a coach's wife. Apparently it was a tough business for Sara having to explain to their boys why they could talk to him on the phone but not see him many days. She has said, "You never expect to have all your kids sick at the same time-- and Dave's gone. There are definitely times when you're like, 'I did not sign up for this.'" Yikes, yeah I hear ya'.

That's not to say Dave's a bad guy. Quite the contrary-- Sara has said that "when he gets home he is really great about putting everything down and hanging out with the kids. I don't see him doing X's and O's on the kitchen table. He's really good about letting it go." When the kids are at that very young age where it's a hassle to take them anywhere, I imagine Sara can't really go to the games at that point. She just becomes a kind of permanent maid at her own house-- having to constantly take care of them. Now, it must be getting a little better as they get a little older. She gave those quotes back in 2008 when they were a lot younger. She has done her time in the coach's wife circle of horrors.

03/26/15 (Updated)

Larry Krystkowiak's Wife Jan Krystkowiak

 

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Larry Krystkowiak's wife Jan Krystkowiak has had five kids with Utah head coach, named Cam, Luc, Ben, Samantha and Finley. That right there is a pretty big accomplishment. Being the wife of a coach is hard enough, but raising five kids when the guy is gone a significant amount of time certainly amps up the difficulty level considerably.

By far the coolest thing about Larry Krystkowiak's wife Jan Krystkowiak is that she's a published children's book author. Jan's company is called Where In The World Books. It's a publishing company that specializes in customizing your child's story book. The parents fill in some data about their kid, and the book is then printed with these personalized details. It's not a bad idea, and another cool thing about it is that proceeds from sales go to animal charities like the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I think it was that particular charity because Jan was living in Milwaukee at the time, but the point is her company gives money to animal charities.

I sort of wonder if things got less difficult as the wife of a coach after Larry went from NBA coaching to NCAA coaching. There was probably little change even though the season is shorter. Jan gets to see Larry a little more often now. Larry Krystkowiak's wife Jan Krystkowiak actually wrote a children's book called "I Don't Want to Move" that was based on her kids' reaction to having to move all the time. Put all the blame on Larry. Some coaches are lucky and stay in the same place for years and years, but most of them have to move all over the place. Apparently Jan also has a marketing company, and maybe she's got a flare for standing out. She said of her approach to children's books, "It's the hardest market there is. I wanted something that would make us stand out from every other book out there."