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Findley fulfills dream of playing for mom

Friday, November 30, 2007  
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By Chad Hartwell

Lady Eagles basketball coach Stephanie Findley fills more than just a coach’s role in one of her player’s lives. For Jordan Findley, outside of games and practices, Coach Findley is simply known as “mom”.

For Jordan, attending Oklahoma Christian University and playing for her mom has always been something she wanted to do.

“I never really dreamed of going to Oklahoma University or Tennessee or any other Division I women’s basketball powerhouses, I always wanted to play at Oklahoma Christian for her,” Jordan Findley said.

Prior to arriving at Oklahoma Christian, Jordan had never been coached by her mom. However, her dad coached her in elementary school and in junior high, so she was already prepared for having a parent as a coach.

“I didn’t always get to watch her play in high school, so this way I get to see her play and improve and make progress,” coach Findley said.

Some coaches might show favoritism to their own child, others would be harder on them, but coach Findley treats her daughter just like any other player on the team. 

“It’s like being a coach to anyone else. I don’t view it any differently,” coach Findley said.

Coach Findley’s equal treatment of Jordan has allowed Jordan to maintain a good relationship with the other girls on the team.

“Jordan’s personality is encouraging on an off the court. She is just that kind of person,” teammate Lindsey Gipson said. “She is a great motivator in practice.”

None of the other girls have ever mentioned to Jordan they have any problem with the way Coach Findley treats her in comparison to the other girls since she treats them the same.

“When it is time for basketball, Jordan sees her as a coach, and off the court, she sees her as mom,” Gipson said.

The Findley’s attempt to keep their personal relationship separate from the relationship they have as coach and player, but the players feel that Coach Findley does a great job of establishing a personal relationship with all of her players.

“I do have to remember that I am just a player when she gets upset with me on the court,” Jordan said. “But sometimes, I do call her Mom on the court.”

The Findley’s make sure this player coach relationship does not cause any conflict in their personal lives.

“I know to steer clear of my house if we’ve had a really rough game,” Jordan said. “But then again, growing up I knew this, too.”

Coach Findley believes the situation depends on the parent and child’s personalities, and they have a good situation.

“I have had several players play for me who played for their moms. In practice, they would fight and yell,” Coach Findley said. “I try not to do that, and I try not to be easier.”

Coach Findley expects her daughter to be the best team member she can be and to not be selfish.

“In the time you’re not getting to play, you still need to be a team leader, and Jordan understands that from watching on the sidelines,” Coach Findley said. “Jordan fulfilled this role very well her first two years by being a cheerleader more than playing.”

From her teammates’ reactions, it appears Jordan has learned this lesson well.

“Jordan is a team captain and is looked up to by her teammates because of her strong work ethic,” Gipson said.

When asked about the worst thing about playing for her mom, Jordan wasn’t really sure.

“Sometimes, my family will give her a hard time when I don’t play as much as they thought I should have, but it’s all in good fun,” Jordan said.

Coach Findley believes Jordan may feel pressure to try and do everything perfect since she is the coach’s child.

“I don’t think I consciously try to treat her any differently,” Findley said. “I hope I don’t put extra pressure on her to be perfect.

Jordan thinks the best thing about playing with her mom as a coach is that she is coached by one of the best coaches around.

“She knows so much about the game and is so eager to share and point stuff out to her players,” Jordan said. “She treats all her players with respect and really models Christ in the way she coaches.”


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