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Coaches trade clipboards for the role of dad at state championships

May 30, 2014 11:00AM

Three Pitt State coaches will be cheering on student athletes this weekend, but in a role people don’t see. They’re all three dads whose daughters have qualified to compete in the Kansas high school outdoor track and field championships Friday and Saturday in Wichita.

Russ Jewett, head track and cross country coach, will be cheering on his daughter, Sarah, a Pittsburg High School senior. Women’s basketball coach Lane Lord will be on the sidelines for his daughter, Logan, a PHS freshman. Men’s basketball coach Kevin Muff will root for his daughter, Taylor, who is also a PHS freshman.

All three say they are enjoying their roles as proud and supportive fathers. Just don’t try to tell them it is less stressful than their jobs as coaches.

Lord said being a father on the sidelines can be rough. He described watching the PHS relay team come from behind at a recent meet.

“I was more nervous then than I was coaching in an NCAA D-II tournament,” he laughed.

All three agreed that although they make their living coaching, when it comes to their daughters, they leave that to someone else.

“It’s strictly hands off with me,” Jewett said. “Luckily Sarah has a very good coach.”

Muff said he waits until Taylor asks for advice to give it.

“The biggest influence on her has been her two older sisters,” Muff said. “Both Alex and Skyler have been state champions.”

Jewett, Lord and Muff said their daughters share some traits that have made them successful. They all cited a love of competition, mental toughness and a strong work ethic – all things they try to cultivate in the student athletes they coach.

All three also expressed similar feelings going into the weekend.

“Really proud,” they all said.

©2014 Pittsburg State University