Melanie Yates, wife of Boise State’s Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates, shares how she helps create stability amid the many moves that come along with being a coach’s wife.
For most families of coaches, moving quickly becomes a way of life. Melanie Yates, her husband and her two children recently packed up and headed to Boise — their fourth move in two years! As luck would have it, though, this move landed them at Marcel’s alma mater and Melanie’s hometown. “We kept hearing little rumors that Brian [Boise State’s head coach and Marcel’s former teammate] was going to try to bring my husband on the team, and I was already packing my bags,” she said. “I loved College Station and Texas A&M, and it was a great experience, but Boise is my hometown and my friends and family are still there.” Add in the fact that Melanie, Brian and his wife Kes all attended junior high and high school together, and you can see why this particular move was greeted with nothing but excitement.
But not every move is so easy (or greeted with such excitement!). Melanie’s early life lacked stability, and since becoming a mother, she’s made a concerted effort to provide as much consistency as possible for her own children. Her mom was constantly moving, and was repeatedly abused by both Melanie’s father and her stepfather, so she relied on her grandparents, who helped raise her, to show her this was possible. “It was good for me even though I was sad I couldn’t be with my mom a lot,” she said. “I would be sad, but it was a stable environment my grandparents provided and I saw firsthand what it was like to be in a two parent well-functioning home with 9 other children who all stayed in school and went to college.”
When Melanie became pregnant at 15, she gave birth to her son and moved out within two years. “I always told myself I would raise my kids better” than her own mother, she said. This inspired her to finish high school and attend college, where she met Marcel. They’ve since had one daughter, and Marcel has adopted Melanie’s son.
And together, Melanie and Marcel have worked to make life as regular as possible for their children. “I always promised my son that no matter where I moved, he would always have the option to stay in the same school,” she said. “I didn’t have that stability… I had to be in many different schools – a new school every year! It was difficult.” Although in a couple instances it was unavoidable, namely the move to College Station when he was at the end of his junior year of high school, he ended up finishing high school back home in Boise.
“It was very difficult for him when we moved to College Station and he really wanted to graduate with all of his childhood best friends,” Melanie said. “We ended up moving him back to Boise before us and let him do his last semester in Boise so he could graduate with his friends. We were fortunate to have a house in Boise so that he could stay there, but it was still really difficult as we had to have family and friends continually check on him.”
“But,” she said with a smile, “these are the sacrifices you make for the love of the game!”
Heart For The Game thanks Kelly Buh for conducting this interview with Melanie Yates.