|Written by Jeff Falk|
| What do you get when you roll a rabid fan, a sounding board, a confidente, a consultant and a cheerleader all into one? A coach’s wife!
But Jen Bossert is not your typical coach’s wife. She’s the consumate coach’s wife.
Bossert played Division One women’s basketball at Niagra University, where she met her husband Darrin, the current boys’ coach at Cedar Crest. Then Jen Nelson, Bossert graduated in 1991 from Cedar Crest, where she starred as a point guard for the Lady Falcons.
“I’m definitely knowledgeable,” said Jen Bossert. “Strategies not so much because I never got that serious about it. But I can sit down and talk to ‘D’ about basketball, which you can’t say about most coaches’ wives. Most women out there wouldn’t consider sitting on a couch and watching basketball videotape with their husbands.”
“It’s fortunate for me to have a wife who played basketball at a high, competitive level,” said Darrin Bossert. “It’s an advantage for me. And it’s a release because she’s very knowledgeable.”
On most Falcon game nights, Jen Bossert can be found in the stands with daughter Taylor (son Mason sits on the CC bench with his dad) yelling for her favorite coach and her favorite team. Since Darrin took over the Cedar Crest job at the beginning of last season, Jen has missed just two Falcon games.
“I love the games and I love the team, but the reason I’m there is to support Darrin 100 percent,” said Jen Bossert. “Obviously being the wife of a coach, I want them (the Falcons) to be successful.
“But I’m more of a cheerleader type of person than an Xs and Os person,” Jen Bossert continued. “That really is my thing. Enjoying the game and cheering them on.”
“Yes, I know she’s there all the time,” said Darrin Bossert, who has Cedar Crest 9-7 overall, 5-3 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and in line for a District Three Class AAAA playoff berth. “That’s very important. She’s my wife and my best friend. She’s my biggest fan. Of everyone in the crowd, she’s the one most supportive. No matter what happens, I know she’s behind me.”
And the things that most fans say in the stands about coaches aren’t always complimentary. Jen Bossert has learned to turn a deaf ear, until a ‘loud mouth’ gets personal.
“The hardest part for me is hearing the criticism,” said Jen. “But I’m getting better at that, dealing with it. People who make comments don’t know him as a person.
“It’s (Darrin’s coaching) become something we enjoy and participate in as a family,” she added. “It’s not like he goes off and coaches.”
“She was a point guard in high school and college,” said Darrin of his wife. “She got good tutelege from Coach (Ernie) Firestone and she played at a Division One school. You know how they say a point guard is an extension of the coach on the floor? Sometimes she brings to light things I haven’t thought of.”
As you may have gathered, basketball is a popular topic of conversation in the Bossert household. When Darrin does talk hoops at home, sometimes it’s to vent and sometimes it’s seeking a solution.
“He usually comes home and talks about it right away,” said Jen. “I can’t think of a time he came home and said ‘I don’t want to talk about it’.
“To me, it’s just about getting it out and wanting to vent,” Jen added. “The advice part comes with his assistant coaches. He knows I’ll listen to him. He knows he can tell me things.”
“She usually listens. Strategy-wise, we don’t talk about that much at all,” said Darrin. “In certain situations with kids, she’ll give me some input as to how he might be feeling. She can almost put herself into the shoes of the player. She’ll make me think twice.
“When there is a tough night, I know it bothers her as much as it does me,” Darrin concluded. “You enjoy the wins together. And the losses you just got to fight through. But it hurts sometimes when I know it bothers her too.”