My name is Shawne Wells and I am a mother, teacher, and a coach’s wife! My lifestyle keeps me very busy but I love all aspects of it! I am married to head coach, Kelly Wells, University of Pikeville (UPIKE) Men’s Basketball. I am the mother of Kaylee, age 12 and Mason, age 8. I teach 5th grade Reading at Pikeville Elementary. Our lifestyle keeps us very active with Kelly’s activities as a coach, my children’s different activities, and the demands of my job. We embrace the hectic lifestyle and continue striving to be BEST we can be in all areas of our lives.
Kelly and I met on the campus of Morehead State University (MSU) where we both attended school and played college basketball. We found we had a lot in common – basketball being one of many interests. We share many fond memories and laughs from our college days. I will forever be grateful for being a MSU Eagle for many reasons, but one important reason, it’s the place I met the love of my life and my best friend.
Now, Kelly coaches for University of Pikeville , a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I, Men’s Basketball program in Pikeville, Kentucky. We have lived in Pikeville for nine years now and love being surrounded by the love of a small town community and the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.
What is your most memorable sporting experience to date?
My most memorable sporting moment is winning the NAIA National Championship in 2011. The Bears go into the NAIA national tourney as an unranked team. Then, go on to defeat ranked team after ranked team and fight their way to winning a National Championship. To be a part of all the “magic” in Kansas City, with the team, and to witness the support they had along their journey was an experience I’ll never forget. When I think about that time, I not only remember the games, but the special people that enjoyed that journey with us. It felt as if after each game the team won, they gathered more and more fans that cheered them on.
How does your coach motivate you? Vice versa?
Kelly motivates and inspires me daily through the way he lives his life. He is truly a winner in all facets, on and off the court. It was such a humbling experience to witness his strength over the past few years as he battled Berger’s – a kidney disease. However, he somehow found the strength to continue coaching his team and being the best dad and husband he could be. During those tough times, he never once quit striving to overcome obstacles and bring out the best in others whether it be his players, friends, family, etc. He has touched so many lives and that inspires me to touch others’ as well.
What one word or phrase can you use to describe your uncommon life? Explain.
One word to describe my uncommon life: rewarding.
I love being a coach’s wife. I love getting to cheer my team on to victory or crying with them in defeat. My heart swells with pride when I watch Kelly do what he loves on the sidelines and I know that he is doing what God made him to do. I love the fact that many of those same young men I cheer for in the orange and black will be part of our lives forever. They will text or call and share their lives with us all because of the impact Kelly had on their lives. I love that my children feel a special kind of bond with the team as we try to make them feel a part of our family.
What are three things that your experience as a coach’s spouse has taught you?
- Relationships are important.
Throughout Kelly’s tenure as coach and me as a coach’s wife, it is not the games that have been won that I remember with fondness but the special people that took those journeys with us. Each place Kelly has coached we have made special connections with people that will last a lifetime. Friendships that time and distance will not change – for that I will forever be grateful.
I think it takes a special person to be a coach’s wife and with that responsibility you also need to be independent. Kelly’s job takes him away from home a lot with games, recruiting, camps, etc. While he is gone I still have to be able to manage our lives as normal. The kids and I do a lot of things on our own because of the nature of his job. We appreciate the times he is with us, but know that when he is not there we can do things independently.
With basketball comes a roller coaster ride of highs and lows and understanding that with each high and low comes a different attitude within our household. Kelly does a good job of trying not to allow his job to determine his attitude while at home but at times it can’t be helped. We feel the tension of when a big game is approaching or after a bad practice. It is all a part of the job and understanding that those times won’t last long and being there with support is part of my job.
What advice would you give to other coaching spouses?
Embrace the process. There will be ups and downs as you travel this journey, but hold on tight to what is most important to you throughout it all – FAMILY! After all the seasons, games – won or lost, tournaments, etc., in the end you are left with your family – make the most of it and enjoy the ride!
I could go on and on about how much I adore Shawne, Kelly, Mason, and Kaylee!
As I made the slow transition to become a coach’s wife, Shawne was there every step of the way. When the team is away, Shawne always finds a way to include me into her hectic schedule to ensure I never feel alone. God has truly blessed our lives, along with the players’ and other coaches’ lives, with such strong and generous role models.
Thank you, Shawne, for sharing your story!
The Uncommon Wife.
Kelly and Shawne have a love story that has been so inspiring to many – past and present. As Shawne mentioned earlier in this post, Kelly had previously suffered from a kidney disease called Berger’s. You can read a detailed story here. The Wells’ are advocates for organ donation, they’re #WellsTough. If you would like to learn more about organ donation, to become a donor, or to make a donation, please visit kyorgandonor.org.