The family business: Blake and Brandon Snodgrass have followed dad Rick into the coaching profession
LACROSSE -- It's tough being the coach's wife. Teresa Snodgrass will have you know it's even tougher being the coaches' mom.
"I got used to them talking about my husband," Snodgrass said. "When they're talking about my sons, the mama bear's claws come out."
Snodgrass, whose husband Rick is the boys head coach at Tri-Township, also had her two boys follow their dad into the profession, and as fortune would have it, they have landed in close proximity to each other in southern Indiana, Brandon at Rising Sun and Blake at New Washington.
"Looking back, I've been lucky," said Rick Snodgrass, who is in his 39th season as a head coach. "They're two of 20 head coaches I've had. How many dads get to say they get to coach in the same year as two of their sons? I'm so excited for the boys get to do what they love. It means I had some impact on some of those kids."
Last Friday, the boys squared off for the first time as coaches as Rising Sun topped New Washington, 75-63.
"The superintendent said he will save me a seat front row, center court," Teresa said prior to the game. "Brandon said, my mom's not really a front row, half court kind of gal. We always sat in the corner (at Portage), away from the parents, so we weren't hearing what the parents were saying about our husbands."
With the design help of a student, Brandon marked the occasion by having a t-shirt done for Teresa with 'Mom of the Coaches' printed on it, along with both schools' logos, the Rising Sun Shiners and New Washington Mustangs.
"Their school colors, ironically, are the same, blue, white and gold," Rick said.
Tri-Township played Friday at Boone Grove, so Rick couldn't make the game, though over 30 family members, including the boys' 96-year old grandmother who had not attended a game since 2009, were on hand.
"It is neat," Teresa said. "Obviously, it's been our life. People get all hung up on wins and losses. To watch the boys do what they love so much, we just want to see them happy. (Rick)'s very proud. I can't imagine there being an active coach with two sons coaching."
Rick coached Blake at North Harrison, where he started all four years and scored 1,501 career points. He went to play in college at IU Southeast and St. Francis (Fort Wayne) before becoming a coach. He coached the eighth grade team in Rick's last year at North Harrison and was an assistant at Jeffersonville and Fishers prior to taking over at New Washington. Ironically, their sister Madison was the only one of the three to win a sectional title as a player.
"Blake was a lot better scorer than I was," Brandon said. "I was more defensive minded."
Brandon played for Rick for three years at Danville before spending his senior season at North Harrison when his dad took the coaching job there.
"I grew up in the gym, Hamilton Southeastern, Twin Lakes, Danville, all those places," Brandon said. "I always knew. I got into high school, I started to think what I wanted to do. Both parents were teachers. I put two and two together and decided coaching was what I wanted to do."
Brandon's first teaching job was actually in Ecuador, where he spent five-and-a-half years, coaching basketball at one of the international schools. He was as an assistant at Jeffersonville before coming to Rising Sun in 2019.
"I knew then I wanted to at least try it," he said. "If I wasn't good at it, I'd try a different profession. When I coached in Ecuador, I was very close to those guys. Now I hope it's the only thing I do. I think (mom)'s happy we're in this profession, but she's a little stressed because she knows what comes with the job."
While he hasn't been able to see his sons coach, Rick has been to both of their schools, which are in the same sectional.
"People would like for us to get in a tournament (together)," he said. "Their facilities for 1A are really nice," he said. "New Washington's like a Kouts gym, with a balcony on one side. Rising Sun has a really nice gym, a nice weight room. It's beautiful, right on the (Ohio River)."
More than any wins or Xs and Os, Brandon hopes he can emulate the impact Rick's had as a coach.
"Dad's been to 27 weddings and has been in at least seven weddings," he said. "He has such a good relationship with his players. I hope I can build that with my players."
Brothers Blake and Brandon Snodgrass, shown with their mom Teresa,
coached against each other Friday as New Washington and Rising Sun met.
Their dad, Rick Snodgrass, who coached his sons when they were in high
school, coaches at Tri-Township, making them the only father-son-son trio in