Being the wife of a football coach can be just as busy as the coach’s life — from meetings, to practice, to travelling, and let’s not forget keeping things in order at home.
With over 100 years in total football experience, all eight of Grambling’s football coaches’ wives have been able to regulate matters on and off the field.
“The wives are equally as important as the coach,” said head coach Broderick Fobbs, “because without them, you’re unable to dust yourself off, get back up and go back out there and fight again.”
Sheila Fobbs is the wife of running backs coach Lee Fobbs; together they are the parents of head coach Fobbs. Sheila Fobbs has 40 years plus of experience as a football coach’s wife.
She considers herself the senior of the group.
She believes that it is easier for the coaches and wives to work together because they have the same beliefs.
“Even though we all have different ages,” said Sheila Fobbs, “what I think connects us is, the majority of us, we have the same values. So, a lot of decisions that we make, we can agree on them because they come from core values.”
Head coach Broderick Fobbs’ wife of 10 years, Kim Fobbs, agreed saying that there is a good mix of mature and younger wives.
“We have a lot of wisdom,” said Kim Fobbs. “We have a strong group.”
They all enjoy working alongside their husbands, even though at work is when they see their husbands the most.
Through their years of football, they’ve learned to love the game even more because of their husbands.
“I like the strategy behind it,” said Sheila Fobbs. “I don’t take female friends with me to the game unless I know they like the sport as well as I do because they’re busy talking about clothes and people and I want to see the plays on the field.”
Offensive coordinator Eric Dooley and his wife Alicia Dooley have been married for 23 years and have over 20 years of SWAC experience.
“You do need that support system to be right there with your husband and so far it’s been a good ride,” said Mrs. Dooley. “We have ups and downs, but we get over the obstacles as they come. So, I do love the game as well.”
The wives do just about everything together when it comes to football.
“Last season we traveled. We would rent vehicles. We really didn’t miss a game,” said Kim Fobbs.
Sheila Fobbs, who is also Grambling State University’s career services director, says that she loves traveling, but can often get tired of packing.
“I wish I could just get there without the packing part and enjoy the game.”
Balancing life outside of football can be a struggle, but you get it done according the Kim Fobbs.
Broderick and Kim Fobbs have the youngest children of the group, Rylee, 4, and Kyndal, 7.
“Basically, I have to pencil in sleep, but I have a strong support system,” said Kim Fobbs. “With my mother-in-law being here, my mom, will come in and help out on the weekends. You just juggle and at the end of the day you’re like ‘I did all this and cooked dinner!’”
She went on to say that if she needed anything from the other wives, she could call them for help.
“I could call and say ‘Dooley can you pick up, can you do this? Can you do that?’ So, we help each other a lot.”
Strength and conditioning coach Jarwarski Beckum has been married to DaVita Beckum for 14 years.
Mrs. Beckum says that balancing things at home cam be chaotic.
“I’m not very organized, but we make it work,” said Mrs. Beckum. “When it’s game day, it’s game day and everything is on the back burner for him. I try to remember that even though I love Grambling football, I am his supporter and his number one fan and our kids have that same mentality.”
When Lee Fobbs was coaching, Shelia Fobbs had to balance going to her two sons’ games and her husband’s. Both sons played at different schools at the time.
“So what I did at the beginning of August,” said Sheila Fobbs, “I would put all three of the schedules down and I would alternate which games I would go to. Broderick was at Grambling at the time so I would either drive up to Grambling and come to his game or follow Lee to his game. Just which ever one and I alternated that way.”
Sheila Fobbs says she also had a good support system her children were younger.
Lee Fobb’s niece would keep teenage Broderick Fobbs while they traveled from school to school according to Sheila Fobbs.
“Once I stopped working, I was the support system. I had to drive them everywhere,” said Sheila Fobbs.
Sheila Fobbs went on the say that coach Lee Fobbs, had to take a job at a lower level school, because he felt that their daughter, Chelsea would not know who he was because he was so busy.
He would leave at six o’clock in the morning before she would get up to go to school and when he comes back home at 11 o’clock at night she would already be sleeping.”
“Where he was, you didn’t see your husband. He was gone like 24/7.”
“During this part of the season, we’re definitely single parents,” said Mrs. Beckum. “We can’t stress them about that because they’re already dealing with the stress that comes along from their job.”
“Especially, in August during training camp. That’s the only time we can really see him,” added on Kim Fobbs. “Actually, I think we kind of enjoy training camp because we don’t cook!
During the season, Sundays are the days the wives and the coaches come together for dinner.
“That’s something we come together and have a meal just to see them for about an hour allow us to fellowship and talk and plan,” said Kim Fobbs.
Sunday dinners are planned out with a calendar designed by Kim Fobbs.
It features what dishes the wives need to bring for that particular Sunday.
Because of the busy schedule of a coach, Sheila Fobbs does advise people getting into the field to be very independent.
“Have your own life, your own world and just enjoy the ride.”
“Never in a million years did I think I’d be able to walk in her shoes. Very few women can understand the role of a coach’s wife,
let alone a head coach’s wife. For her being able to hold that role of the first lady of Grambling football for so long and just to be able
to mirror in her shoes is just an awesome feeling. Just to be able to know her and truly get to spend time with her and her family was very, very honoring.”
Kim Fobbs, on the passing of Doris Robinson