What it’s like being the coach’s wife

Cheryl Rose attends Boom Shakalaka with her husband, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose.
Cheryl Rose attends Boom Shakalaka with her husband, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose. (Elliott Miller)

BYU basketball fans like her, the basketball players love her and her family adores her. Such high praise is most likely attributed to her sweet disposition and feisty spirit. But don’t think she is all sweet; she’s got a spark when it comes to BYU sports and doesn’t hesitate to show it off. Cheryl Rose, wife of BYU basketball Head coach Dave Rose, is a triple-whammy gal.

Rose is the mother of three kids who all grew up surrounded by sports. “Go, fight, win,” is the Rose family motto, and Cheryl Rose lives it on a daily basis. She was always there to get the kids to their sports activities, rarely missing a sporting event.

Coach Rose was part of the BYU business program when one day he came home and told his wife he wanted to be a coach instead. With her support every step of the way, Dave Rose went on to become a successful coach and was named head basketball coach at BYU in 2005.

“I wanted him to be happy every day he went to work,” Cheryl Rose said.

Cheryl Rose not only supports her family but is also right there every step of the way for the entire BYU basketball team. She has even come up with her own BYU basketball tradition: if the team wins a home game, she makes them all a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, and if they win an away game, she makes them snickerdoodles.

But being the coach’s wife has never been easy and never will be. Just like most people, the Rose family goes through real-life struggles and frustrations.

In an emergency situation just six years ago while in Las Vegas, Coach Rose was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was a struggle for the entire family, but through the ordeal they came together and supported each other. He had a positive attitude during the entire situation and Cheryl Rose was sturdy, making sure she could help their children stay strong — another way she keeps to her “Go, fight, win” family motto.

But busy schedules mean less time together.

“It can sometimes be lonely being a coach’s wife,” Cheryl Rose said. “I’ve learned to do things without him sometimes, to be more independent. Honestly, it can sometimes be lonely being a coach’s wife and there’s just a lot of things he misses.”

Cheryl Rose attends Boom Shakalaka with her husband, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose.
Cheryl Rose attends and enthusiastically participates in the Boom Shakalaka with her husband and BYU basketball head coach Dave Rose. (Elliott Miller)

Lucky for Cheryl Rose, she has great friends who are really supportive.

“No one understands the life of a coach’s wife except for another coach’s wife,” Cheryl Rose said, describing the mutual understanding and support system. “I know they’re feeling exactly what I’m feeling.”

Some of Cheryl Rose’s favorite things to do include tennis, spending time with her friends, reading, planning parties and interior decorating. But more than anything, she loves to do service.

Being the coach’s wife, she has many opportunities to serve. Together with her family and the basketball players, she has participated in Coaches vs. Cancer and other programs aiming to fight childhood cancer. She loves to serve, sometimes doing it on a large scale and sometimes just one-on-one.

Family comes first for Cheryl Rose. Her apparent love for her family is felt strongly by how she speaks about and regards them in public. But even within the walls of her home there is an extra sense of unity, support and peace.

Not to mention her spitfire personality when the BYU basketball team is on the court. Everyone knows who is the true blue fan of the team. And the referees sure know when Cheryl Rose doesn’t agree with their calls, which she closely watches.

“I don’t like to talk,” she said. “I really like to watch the game and focus on it.”

In spite of any difficulties her particular situation might present, she believes she is “really lucky.” The end goal in her mind is happiness, as well as knowing that she and her husband “got each other’s back” as she does everything to make that happen.

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