Arizona's Mike Stoops announced this week that he and his wife, Nicole, are in the process of getting a divorce. Stoops is 47, Nicole 33. They were married in July 2001 and have two young children.
Stoops was visibly emotional when he made the announcement and said he will have no further comment on the matter.
So what went wrong? Wouldn't a marriage to a big-time coach be a dream life?
In November 2004, the Arizona Daily Star profiled Nicole in a piece titled "First lady of football — Coach's wife busily adjusts to life in the media spotlight." Here's an excerpt:
"She was working as an apartment property manager at the time she met Stoops, who was visiting Dallas for a football convention when the two struck up a conversation at a restaurant bar.
"She always expected someday she'd become a teacher and stay in Dallas the rest of her life, to be near her family. But then came an unplanned pregnancy and a choice. She and Mike weren't married at the time, and they ruled out getting married solely because of the pregnancy — they wanted to be sure they were meant for each other. They married when their daughter was 2.
" 'I've always had the utmost respect for him,' Stoops said of her husband. 'He's never let me down. I know that he will never abandon me or the children, no matter what happens, because he is just a good man. He takes care of us.'
"The couple have an age gap of 14 years. It keeps him young, she jokes, and her grounded. They're different in other ways as well.
"She's a sentimental sop, she admits, even to the point that she cries at greeting card commercials or the TV show 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.'
"He's the least romantic person on the planet. She tried to help, buying Mike a book with 1,001 ways to be romantic. It's been forgiven, but not forgotten, that while in Oklahoma, he once forgot her birthday, which happened to fall on a big game day."
Thanks to the Midwest Correspondent.