By: Leeann Brothers, Photography Intern
July 11, 2013
Being the coach’s wife can be compared to being the backup quarterback for a football team; they both get the benefits of the position, like traveling with the team and hearing the inside scoop, but without the physical demand to be the star. This is exactly the case for Nancy Roberts, the wife of Coach Mike Roberts of the Cotuit Kettleers.
Every summer Coach Roberts and his wife, Nancy, make the trip up to Cotuit, Cape Cod to spend their summer on the baseball diamond; rather, where Coach spends his summer while Nancy relaxes with her close friends and enjoys the weather.
With the spotlight constantly on Coach Roberts, the daily life of Nancy sometimes goes unnoticed. Instead of talking strictly about baseball, Nancy and I talked about her childhood, how she and coach met, her daily routine, and her history of summers here on Cape Cod.
Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, Nancy lived there until she embarked on her college journey to University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she met her husband. Though they still reside in North Carolina, the couple has spent their last ten summers on Cape Cod for baseball season.
“As a coach’s wife you have to learn how to entertain yourself quite a bit”, said Nancy when asked how she liked spending her summers here. She later explained in detail that back when her children were young, she had them to keep her busy while Mike was out coaching every afternoon and evening. Now, with her son and daughter all grown up, she has been able to use that time focusing on herself.
Nancy’s daily routine includes going on a morning walk and spending time with Mike before he heads to the field. While he is coaching she goes grocery shopping, enjoys cooking, and reads. Nancy also spends time with her friends who recently moved to the area and their landlord’s wife and her friends.
Nancy grew up with three brothers, so she is very familiar and interested in sports in general. Her son, Brian Roberts, is the second baseman for Baltimore Orioles, so baseball is not only a favorite pastime, but also a career for the men of her family.
When I asked Nancy about her childhood and sports, her face lit up as she told me about her surprising sports resume. “Believe it or not, as short as I am, I played high school basketball”. She later explained that back in those days there weren’t as many opportunities for females to play sports so there were only a few sports to choose from. She and her brothers also swam in a summer league as Nancy was a very athletic young woman. Although she wasn’t allowed to play football with the boys, she played in a few powder-puff football games in high school.
Of course there would be some talk of baseball because even though she may not be on the diamond, she still hears the baseball talk from her husband. “Sometimes I’m even the one that initiates the conversation after a game”, said Nancy. “But there are some days, like after a hard loss where he just wants to put it aside and move on.”
When I asked her if she has ever given coach any advice about the team, Nancy said that she tends to just ask questions about decisions he’s made on the field to see where his mind was at and why he made that choice during the game. “I don’t know if I’ve given him a lot of tips, but I’ve probably asked him a lot of questions to see where his mind was going with a decision he made.” She would then ask if maybe he should have gone with the alternative option, but never too blunt because “he knows way more than I do about that subject”.
Although traveling to every game is difficult, Nancy tries to attend all home games and likes to cheer on the team and show her husband support. Her daughter and grandson were even able to attend a couple of games last week and after the game Coach helped his grandson run the bases.
Naturally, I couldn’t end our conversation without asking if she had any inside scoop on what Coach Roberts thinks of this year’s team. “Early on he was unsure of how the team would perform because he was losing players for various reasons”, said Nancy about the players that left to return to their college teams, were injured, and went on to try out for Team USA.
“But then the team got off to such a good start with a 5 game win streak and he was really encouraged”. Nancy ensured that Coach Roberts has gained all his confidence back and is assured that the team will end the season with a winning record.
Nancy also shared how much Coach loves his job here in Cotuit. “I think what he loves the most is seeing a bunch of guys who have never played together, come together and be a team. That’s his main job of the year; to encourage them to be better men and better players.”
After our interview at Lowell Park, Nancy was sure to sit up in the top row of the bleachers on that sunny, summer afternoon and cheer on Coach Roberts for the game against the Bourne Braves.