Our Untold Ball Life Story – by a Coach’s Wife
The Raw Korn #BallLife Story…. told from me, the coach’s wife to Bradley Korn.
This is going to be an entirely different post than you’ve ever heard from me before… but one I feel pulled to share.
I want to take this time to share the story of the man behind my K-State posts and videos … A man who at every turn has put others in front of himself.
A story that goes back 10+ years….
You know him now as the assistant Coach to the Men’s Basketball Kansas State Wildcats… but I know him as a man who’s fought his way from a player to Grad Assistant to Assistant Coach to Director of Basketball Operations to where he’s landed now… an Assistant Coach in a Power 5 Conference for the Kansas State Wildcats.
But I want to talk about the real story… the behind the scenes that most don’t know about.
Bradley has been part of a Sweet 16 team as a player and then as a coach for the same school… we gave 12 strong years at our alma mater where he was an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach.
What most don’t know is that when we left Southern Illinois University in 2012 … he was at the lowest point of his career. We knew we were going to try to stay in this coaching profession but we didn’t know the capacity of what position or where that would be.
In April of 2012 Bradley was “let go” of his position at SIU – meaning he wasn’t fired but at the same time the new head coach coming in wasn’t going to keep him on the staff. Which is very normal for our sport.
They always say connections will take you further than your resume and this was the truth in 2012.
When Coach Bruce Weber got the Head Coaching position at K-State we were in New Orleans with friends for the Final Four and I remember Weber leaving the weekend early to attend the press conference and I vividly remember standing in our hotel room looking on apple maps where Manhattan, KS even was… I had no clue.
A few weeks later Coach called Bradley and said … “Come to Kansas… I’ll give you a job.” Have you.. we were 30 years old… with a one year old, a home we owned, I had a really good job, and we left all we’ve ever known for a “JOB”… and when i mean JOB I mean JOB… we had NO clue what position Coach Weber was even going to give Bradley when we came to Manhattan…… but we had faith that this was out next path.. we trusted in Him.
We sold our house… packed up Brielyn who had just turned one at the time, our two dogs and we drove 8 hours to Manhattan, KS…. we visited and looked for houses… this was going to be our next home. The staff hooked us up with an incredible realtor in Linda Weis who became family to us and I remember the conversation well, she asked “so what’s your budget?” LOL We had no clue! Seriously Coach never told Bradley what he’d be coming here for… we first thought it may be the Video job paying 40k so we had nothing to go off of. And I laugh at this now because we seriously must have sounded like such young fools coming here looking to purchase a home without a set budget.
But with faith and a good fico score… we bought a home here priced $100k more than our previous Southern Illinois home… who does that??? Oh we do!
And luck or faith have it Coach Weber gave Bradley a Director of Basketball Operations position. One I had actually never heard of before! At our former school that wasn’t a position.
But we were at a Big 12 school now… so many things were different here… let’s just say a DOB job at a Big 12 school pays six figures… holy hell… that was over double what he was making as the head assistant in the MVC. Ok we’ll take it!
Although we loved our time in Manhattan, Bradley knew that DOB job wasn’t his gig and he was itching to get back into coaching. Coach Weber told him, “you gotta leave here to get back in…. so we did.” There’s only a certain amount of time you can ‘be out of coaching’ in order to get back in.
In 2013 … just one year after coming to Manhattan, KS we left. We joined the staff of another former SIU player/coach at Missouri State and I remember crying. At the time I didn’t fully approve of him taking a $20k paycut to move schools and states… going back into the Missouri Valley Conference… but I did know that if Bradley was going to get another chance at coaching at D1 we needed to do this, so we moved.
We moved our 2 year old and our 2 dogs at the time. We sold our house we had only lived in a year and moved to Springfield, Missouri.
We spent 3 looong years in Missouri. Yes, we made new friends, had another beautiful baby girl, but we struggled. We struggled financially, I fell into deep depression with hormonal acne, we said good bye to our two dogs there. We were seriously at our lowest point but we survived and we turned to God. We prayed that the right opportunity would open up for us…. and then it did. God had a plan alll along… we had dreamed about coming back to Manhattan… we had loved our year here and we loved the people here. And when so happened that our best friends in coaching were leaving K-State to move to Texas… the assistant coaching spot opened up for Bradley to apply…. and he was hired. But not without a looooooooong month of waiting in the spring of 2016… but God placed us back here for a reason.
After our years in SIU and then after our move to KS in 2012 turning into a full time entrepreneur I’ve always felt like if I dug a little deeper, worked a little harder that I’d be able to save Bradley from the heartache of job loss again. My income could get out out of any hardships we had like that past years…. 2012 was hard….. 2015 was even harder. I knew I never wanted that to happen to us again. I never wanted him to feel that weight again.
I wanted to catch him if he ever fell again….
But you know what… he doesn’t need my net.
We are both huge introverts. We keep silent when others speak but we are really good at analyzing situations and setting a path forward.
Over the last year… Bradley has really pushed thru his old ways of sitting back… he speaks his voice now… he steps into plays… he takes players aside. I would like to think that some of my personal development and confidence has rubbed off on him. But he’s a different coach that he was just a year ago… and you can probably see it in him too.
He’s in this TODAY to make a difference. It’s his goal to make a difference in someone’s life everyday… whether it is to me, our girls, friends, or players.
He knows the power he has to impact lives.
I don’t tell you this story so that you can praise Bradley … but so that you can look in the mirror at your own struggles and know with to get to the GOOD you most times have to go through the BAD, even several times over.
We were at a extreme HIGH at SIU… then extreme low… We were at our ever highest income… purposely left it.. took a paycut… went back down to zero and have worked ourselves back up…. ever stronger than before. Financially, Spiritually and in our Marriage.
I tell you this story because its ours and we own it… and whatever struggles you are going thru … know that when you find God… he will pull you thru… he might drag you thru the mud… but you just gotta hang on!!!!
I don’t know if coaching is what Bradley is meant to do for next 10 years… but I do know he has mastered the game he loves… he’s impacted hundreds of lives through the game… and I’ll support him wherever his journey leads to next…
But today Brielyn, Ashtyn and myself…… we cheer for the WILDCATS! We thank Coach Weber for giving Bradley the chance (again) to come back stronger than ever and God for showing us that even through the darkest of times… there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
I hope this story has inspired you to push thru… and please share it with anyone who may need to hear it 🙂