KWC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Love, Basketball and a Family Dynamic

11/17/2017 03:23 PM

The Kentucky Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team is unique in the fact that they have two head coaches.

“We find it very easy to work together. We’re on the same page with what we want to do and how we want to do it and obviously, we don’t disagree about a whole lot, but when we do, we find a way to figure it out and we just love being able to be with these kids every day and try to be able to impact their lives in a positive way,” said Co-Head Coach Nicole Nieman.

The two have been coaching together for 18 years.

“We didn’t know we wanted to do it until we kind of moved up. We went to middle school and then we went to high school and did that for a few years and just loved it and said we wanted to coach full-time,” Nieman added.

The Panthers coaches know a thing or two about love and basketball- and not just the movie.

“She played ball and I played ball for the same high school coach, so he would always give me a hard time. He kind of knew I was kind of looking at her and looking in her direction, so one thing led to another,” explained Co-Head Coach Caleb Nieman.

Caleb and Nicole Nieman were high school sweethearts and have been married 18 years, just as long as they’ve been coaching.

“We met in high school and when we got married, we kind of fell into a fifth grade girls’ basketball position just for a local catholic school league and just fell in love with it, Nicole told Spectrum News. “We were both teachers at the time, so we did the teaching thing and moved on and decided to do college.”

In their eighth year at Kentucky Wesleyan, they’ve managed to compile the most successful five-year record in Lady Panther history. They pride themselves on creating a family-like atmosphere for their team.

“This is a great, great university to coach at. They allow us to have our daughter at practice and she gets to be around and be on the bench, so they allow us to be a family, which is super important to us,” Nicole added. “You know, that’s why we like this place and that’s why we like coaching here and our players know that. They know that we’re family first and they’re a part of that family with us. Family is more important than basketball.”

The Niemans say they really have just one relationship problem.

“Bringing it home and talking about it 24/7, but our daughter helps us with that. She’s seven-years-old and she doesn’t really let us do that, so it kind of works out well,” Caleb said.

Their daughter, Lilly, is an unofficial little sister and member of the team.

“She’ll tell anyone that she has 14 sisters and they’re like ‘what?’, but yeah, she’s talking about our team,” senior guard Addie Reimbold said with a laugh.

Nicole agreed.

“She gets our minds off basketball and that definitely helps us, but yeah, we’re probably basketball a little too much at times. The worst thing is we have to turn it off, but other than that we really don’t have any problems. People wonder about us all the time ‘How do you guys do it? How do you guys do it?’ and to us it’s just the perfect fit. I mean, we can be role models as to how to be in a positive relationship and be able to manage all that and work together. We just think its perfect”

Watch the full story here:

The Panthers are back in action Saturday as they host Alice Lloyd at 1:00 p.m. central.

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News. You can catch Lyndsey’s work on Sports Night, the only nightly show dedicated to covering everything from high school to college sports in Kentucky. She loves covering all sports but it’s the personal stories that really stand out to Lyndsey, like the story of a community coming together to remember high school track start Trinity Gay who was killed. Lyndsey came to Spectrum News from WBKO in Bowling Green where she was an Anchor, Reporter and Producer covering news and sports. She’s a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of UK. Sports Night airs at 6:30 and 10:30 weeknights on Spectrum News. If you have a story idea for Lyndsey email her at Lyndsey.gough@charter.com.

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