417: Tell me about your relationships with coaches and players within the department.
L.M.: It’s funny because [when] it started out, I was like the sister to all the players. When I was a student, we would all hang out together.
417: Because you were their age.
L.M.: Right, exactly. And really and truly it was like having brothers, and it made dating really tough. Then as I’ve gotten older, and obviously the kids stay the same, I’ve taken more of a big sister—or like now it’s kind of like a mom—role. Some of my best friends are guys from those first couple teams at Coastal because we always hung out together. We were in classes together. But I’ve always kept in touch with them because I’ve always had that relationship where they can come in and they can talk to me about things maybe they couldn’t talk to their coaches about, or if they just needed somebody to listen. I think about, for example, our guys in the NFL. At Coastal, we had Josh Norman. Watching him on TV, I got teary-eyed because he used to be, like, that was my little brother when he was in school. His older brother played for us, and I was very close with his older brother. And then [Josh] came in, and he played for us. He was really like my little brother. He used to come in and sit in my office all the time, like almost every day, and talk to me about his girl problems. Watching him on TV, I was like, “That’s my little Josh!”
417: Missouri State as a program is trying to turn a corner after seasons that haven’t gone as well as it’d hoped. Where do you fit into that?
L.M.: We do have a very young coaching staff. A lot of our coaches, they’ve played or they’ve been GAs; they’ve been around. But really and truly, some of our coaches, I’ve been around college football longer than they have. So I think my experience and my knowledge, I think that helps. My job really and truly is to make their lives easier. They should worry about coaching, they should worry about players, they should worry about getting done what they need to get done. Everything else should be on my shoulders.
417: How do you balance and handle communication and know when to speak up?
L.M.: Even though I’m kind of the new kid on the block, it’s very much a family atmosphere, so it’s very much just working with, not just your friends, but like your family. We go back and forth, like we joke with each other and whatnot, but it was really surprising to me to come in here because a lot of these coaches are self-sufficient.