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Amanda Mazey, wife of Randy Mazey, Head Baseball Coach at West Virginia University, is great at finding balance. As a coach’s wife, a sports reporter, and a Mom, Amanda dishes about her family, her relationship with her husband, her career and how she keeps it all in line.
As the first coach’s wife to be featured on SiS, we’re excited to have you participating! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I’ll start by giving the standard answer, “I’m the luckiest woman in the world!” And I really am. I’m mom to Weston (7) and Sierra (5) and wife to Randy, who is the Head Baseball Coach at West Virginia University. We’ve been married for 9 years and it’s been a great ride so far. I started my on-air TV career in 1998 in local news and started freelancing nationally in 2006. Currently I report on WVU athletics for the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG and ROOT Sports out of Pittsburgh. I also work in radio and do corporate internet videos and emcee events. I’m a lover of nature, animals and adventure.
What’s your dating story? How did you first meet Randy?
We met on September 19th, 2002 at a restaurant. He had been named the Head Baseball Coach of East Carolina University (ECU), a few months prior to that, so when I saw him, I knew he was the baseball coach. At the time, I was the Weekend Sports Anchor for WITN (a local NBC affiliate in Greenville, NC). That night, we kept eye balling each other, so I knew there were some sparks flying between us. I finally went over and introduced myself (he says he was going to, I just beat him to it haha), but I did it from the professional standpoint in case I misjudged what I thought were some sparks. So I went up to him and said, “Hi Coach, I’m Amanda Ross, I’ll be one of the reporters interviewing you this season, nice to meet you.” Well I didn’t misjudge the sparks, and we’ve been together ever since, marrying in 2005. And for the record, he was the first and only coach I ever dated haha. To this day, when I interview him, I still always call him “Coach.”
Have you always a Mountaineers fan?
We became the biggest Mountaineer fans on June 6, 2012 when Randy was introduced as the Head Coach of the WVU Baseball team! Seriously though, we were very familiar with WVU athletics and the schools’ success in various sports. College athletics is a small world. We love being a part of the Mountaineer family and have embraced Morgantown as our new home.
What’s your favorite thing about being a coach’s wife?
As a sports junkie myself, I get to watch some of the best college athletes in the country live out their dreams, while at the same time support my husband. I don’t know many accountant wives who go to their husbands work and cheer on him or his co-workers. It’s really special being a part of a university’s athletic family. All the WVU coaches from every sport support each other and some of my best friends are other coach’s wives who I would have otherwise never met.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a coach’s wife?
It’s so rewarding watching our players mature during their time in college. Randy and I get just as much satisfaction from watching the guys graduate and go out and get jobs and become husbands and fathers, as we do the guys who end up playing professional baseball. Statistically, getting to the major leagues is extremely difficult so to watch our guys go out and become productive citizens is just as heartwarming as watching the players who make it professionally.
Looking back, were you prepared for the life of a wife in college sports?
Absolutely! I’m an only child and fiercely independent so I’m ok with holding down the fort by myself. Since I’ve always been around sports for my job, I always knew the demands of coaching. There’s so much more to it than most people see. I don’t think being a coach’s wife is for everyone but it certainly is a fascinating profession and I love being a part of it.
How does the grueling schedule of a college baseball coach interfere with your relationship?
It’s definitely challenging. College baseball is almost year round between practices, the actual season and recruiting. But I’m very lucky that Randy is able to leave his job at the field, no matter if they win or lose. For Randy, coaching is what he does, it’s not who he is. There have been times when we scheduled a babysitter after a game and they ended up losing and we still went out and had a great time, because we were together. With two young kids, we cherish our family time but also our time as husband and wife. We want to show Weston and Sierra that it’s good for Mommy and Daddy to go out and enjoy each other’s company. We hope that sets an example for them one day as well in their own relationships.
What are some challenges you and Randy have faced?
The first challenge we had from day one of dating was the fact that we both have very public jobs. Sometimes you forget that your every move may end up on the internet. Our biggest challenge these days is always making sure we’re doing what’s right for our family. Having kids makes you really look at your priorities. For us, it’s not just about the job, it’s about our active lifestyle and making sure our kids will have the best opportunities and memories growing up.
Between being the wife of a head coach, a sports reporter and a mother, we can imagine days gets a bit hectic once in a while. How do you find balance in your busy life?
I’m not afraid to say this, but I’m ok with being selfish at times. I have to be. It makes me a better wife and mother to just get away from everything and everyone once in a while. As an only child, I am used to alone time and I cherish that. It can be something as simple as going out for an hour and grabbing a coffee by myself and reading magazines. It’s amazing what a little alone time can do for balance.
Now you have a son, Weston, and a daughter, Sierra. Do they love being the children of a baseball coach?
They do! They have so much fun being around the team! It’s fun for them too when we travel because they have 35 playmates on the plane. Weston has been batboy since the time he was 3, when Randy was an assistant coach at Texas Christian University (TCU), so he’s been in the dugout with Daddy for more than half his life. He loves it and takes his job very seriously, because he knows if he doesn’t, he’ll have to come sit in the stands with Sierra and I, and well, that’s clearly not as much fun as being in the dugout. Sierra is a bit shy when it comes to boys so the players always try to say hi but she ignores them. Quite honestly, we hope she ignores boys till she’s about 30. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
Does Weston play?
He sure does! Weston began playing little league for the first time last season. He was only 6 but it was really cute how he carried himself like a college baseball player. Since he’s grown up around it, I guess it’s just natural that he would want to try to imitate our players. After his first game, he asked me why they didn’t play his “walk out” song. (The song players choose to have played when they are walking up to the plate.) I laughed and told him they don’t do that in little league.
The college baseball season is a rather lengthy one…from February through June. What do you look forward to the most about the offseason?
Our offseason actually doesn’t come until about 2 months after the season ends. After we play our last game, recruiting begins so that means Randy is out traveling once again. But when he does get time it’s nice that we can actually dictate our schedule so we try to sneak away for a little while, either together or as a family.
How many games per season do you attend?
I go to all the home games and try to pick 3 or 4 trips during the season. It’s a lot harder to travel now with both kids in school and playing sports. I usually take the kids on a trip or two, but then I have my “mommy only” trips.
Any special rituals?
Before every single game, we give each other fist pumps. It’s something we started doing from the very first game when we were dating more than 11 years ago. And I also tell him to “kick ass”.
Do you and Randy have a motto that you live by?
I don’t think we necessarily have a motto but we just live our lives to the fullest every day. I unexpectedly lost my mom to a sudden heart attack 3 years ago and Randy lost his dad to cancer last year so we both know how precious life is. And we both know tomorrow isn’t promised. You’ll always find us doing something, whether it be with our kids or with each other. We are adventurous and just embrace each day. We’ve instilled that into our children. They already love to ski, camp, hike, fish, play sports, you name it. There is a time to be serious but there should always be time for fun and exploration.
Any words of encouragement for fellow spouses in sports?
Take in every moment of your husband’s career no matter what it may be. As wives of coaches or players, we get to be a part of a club that is really unique. Not only do we get to actively support our husbands and their dreams, but it allows us to have a voice in the community and use our positions to help as well. Our husbands are in the business of sports and that allows us to travel and meet new people and let’s be honest, it’s just pretty darn cool.
Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.
I adore taking pictures out in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking pictures of my family, but I have always enjoyed going out and seeing the beauty in the world around us. It’s very therapeutic and relaxing for me. I swear if I could shoot for National Geographic, I would. There hasn’t been one sunset or sunrise I look at each day that I didn’t say to myself “Thank you God for allowing me to witness this beauty”.