2013-14 Women's Basketball
Head women’s basketball coach Chad Shutler struggles to balance time between his work and family as the season ramps up.
“This is the most difficult time right now,” says Shutler, who has been spending less time at home and more time with his team as his ninth season at Bluffton unfolds. While the situation is comparable to other working parents, he adds, “the job of a coach is a little unique because there is never any downtime in-season.”
In addition to coaching, Shutler teaches health and fitness classes 12 hours per week at the university. At home, he has three sons—ages 11, 8 and 2—and a wife of nearly 14 years, Wendy, who has returned to school to become a nurse practitioner. She also leads a busy life, often working 12-hour shifts in addition to her coursework.
Two of their sons are active in sports; Chad supports them while also coaching his team, whose Saturday games often conflict with his children’s games. His sons have practice twice a week and play every weekend.
Shutler has help with managing his schedule from volunteers who pick up his children at practices, or drop them off, as well as babysit when he and his wife aren’t available. “We rely a lot on outside help,” he notes.
Despite these efforts to manage it all, Shutler sometimes doesn’t feel he’s doing enough. There are times, he acknowledges, when he feels he is too unavailable as a father and husband. Even when he is at home, his work continues. Recruiting future student-athletes is a year-round task that keeps him busy most of the time. “It’s almost nonstop,” he says.
But Shutler, a coach for 17 years overall, feels balancing work and home is possible, and it’s all about time management. He says it is critical to take advantage of the free time he has, adding that he equates 10 free minutes to 10 minutes of quality time with his sons. And he is beginning to see more of the two older boys even while on the job.
Serving as water boys during women’s games, “they are just getting to the age where they want to help out and be involved a little and think it’s pretty neat,” their father says.