Coach's Corner: Saundra Sawyer, Lake Taylor

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by Brian Smith, 13NEWS

WVEC.com

Posted on January 8, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 11:33 AM

Could you imagine doing the same profession as your spouse?  Similar concerns, headaches and joys? 

That's the case over at Lake Taylor High School.  Saundra Sawyer is in her 8th season as girls head basketball coach.  She's got a young squad that's starting to show it's team not to be taken lightly in the area. 

There are times she takes her job home too.  That's where it's good to have an understanding spouse.  Her husband, Hank, has been the football coach for the Titans.  Numerous players sent to colleges and a dominant power in the Eastern District.  He's also her biggest supporter and helper when his season is over. 

"I get my swagger from him.  He has that swagger and if I wasn't his wife, I'd probably hate him.  I wouldn't like him."  Married the past 9 years, their relationship is one where the line between coaching and marriage is slightly blurred.  In fact, depending on the day, there is no line.

As she puts it, "He's my biggest critic, but he says it to a point where I take it in stride.  You take it for what it's worth and most times, he's right."  He agrees.  "She'll tell me who's not doing real well.  Alot of times we'll step on each other's toes."  The common bond they share, is that they have their players best interests at heart; much like a parent with a child. 

They also share a softer side for each other's teams.  "He's a momma's boy when it comes to the girls.  He's got a sensitivity when it comes to the girls." 

Case in point?  "I could be at practice, drillin' them and being mad at everybody; he'd come to practice and open up a pack of plumbs and they love plums." 

Sawyer can say the same thing when it comes to his wife.  "She's drive up and say time out!  My players will say 'There's your wife', and I'll say, I know." 

Coaching, like marriage, is about making adjustments to make things better.

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