Roman: Wife, assistants are key to success

Bob Bateman, right, shown with Blair Roman, is the state's Athletic Director of the Year.

Bob Bateman, right, shown with Blair Roman, is the state's Athletic Director of the Year.

A key part of any football coach’s success is the support system, both at home and on the field.

Blair Roman has the best of both worlds — an understanding and supportive wife and a tremendous, veteran coaching staff.

Susan Roman met Blair at a New Year’s party, and they will celebrate their 20-year anniversary in June. The couple have three children — Jake, who’s a sophomore at Carson and participates in football and wrestling, and twins Michael and Marie.

Being the wife of a football coach isn’t easy. Coaching high school football is essentially a year-round position, which means time away from the family. It’s coaching during the season, running summer weights program, going to a summer camp, running spring practice and attending coaching clinics.

“Susan is just as important to my coaching as any of my assistants. During football season, I don’t get home every night until about 7 p.m. She has to pick up the slack with the kids. That can be very stressful, especially when you are working full time, too.”

Susan Roman is a full-time third-grade teacher at Seeliger Elementary. She had worked part-time in the district prior to this year.

Long summer vacations are out because of weightlifting and summer football camp. The family steals away for short camping trips here and there. It’s a good thing Susan Roman likes football. “I used to go to all the Douglas High games (in high school),” she said. “It’s not easy during the season. I feel I’m going in five different directions sometimes with all the kids’ activities. It’s been a little easier as the kids have gotten older.”

She admits until this year she was able to sit in relative obscurity.

“I’m not sure many people knew who I was until Jake started playing,” she said. “I know who to sit by and who not to sit by. A lot of the time I sit with my in-laws. When the season is going well, everybody loves Blair.”

Roman, linebacker coach Shane Quilling, kicking coach Jim d’Arrieta and offensive line coach Jim Franz have worked together for more than 10 years. The junior members of the staff are defensive coordinator Steve Dilley, Ty McMillen, Scott Witter and special teams/defensive line coach Vic Castro. Throw in current athletic director Bob Bateman, who served on the staff until this past season.

“One of the reasons we’ve been able to sustain success here is because of the staff we have here,” Roman said. “We have the luxury that a lot of schools don’t have. Most of our coaches are here on campus, and that is important.”

And, like any family, Roman admits disagreements happen from time to time.

“There haven’t been too many disagreements over philosophy,” Roman said. “There are plenty of arguments on Xs and Os and personnel. Once a decision is made, whether it’s as a staff or I make it, we move on.”

Franz agreed.

“Everybody has a lot of respect for each other, and some of us have worked together for a long time,” Franz said. “We’re all friends, and we all have the same goal.”

Like a happy family should.


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