Monday, August 29, 2011


We've changed 'CATS', gone from Cougars to Wildcats! Come with us as we embrace a new community and adventure! GO WILDCATS!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Something special!

Oh my! Where do I start! During the
past 5 seasons at Cooper, Coach and I have had the honor
and pleasure of being apart of the most amazing staff of
coaches and their families. While the men were hard a work
rebuilding Cooper Football and lasting friendships, we girls had
a lot of fun!

We cheered loud at games and inspired discouraged
fans to join us. Played together, made crafts, caramel apples and
mischief. One year we went to the fair, ate dinner on my front
porch and tarred and feathered rubber chickens (before playing

our crosstown rivals). We've had countless conversations, on the
phone and at 'Thursday night coffee'. We've loved, encouraged
and prayed for each other and somewhere along the way we
became 'family'. I love each and everyone of you and want to

thank you for being great wives. Together we better learned to
respect, encourage, befriend and support our husbands. Preparing
for future days when demands will increase and responsibilities
will grow. Just remember that you are never alone and that

H.U.G.'s understand. Change is coming for our precious staff,
but we will 'treasure all these things and ponder them in our
hearts'! I thank God for our time together and for all that He
taught us. I praise Him for our future, each and every one of us,
and thank Him that no matter where we go, He goes with us.

Admire your husband, treasure each day with your family and celebrate and love like there is no tomorrow! Develop a walking, talking, seeing, hearing relationship with God. Ask Him for everything you need. Especially wisdom, forgiveness and trust. Become best friends and learn to love Him more than anything. He in return will enable you to love like you've never loved before.

Embrace your children. Be a mother, not a friend. God will give them many friends but no one can love, teach and discipline as well as you. Parent with a passion for children grow up fast. Make them your priority....your ministry and when they grow up they will be the kind of people you would want for a friend.

I love you.

Girls Night Out! (

Saying Goodbye is hard....part 1

Living and coaching in Abilene Texas the past 5 seasons has been the realization of a longtime dream. Back in the 8o's when we were newlyweds and lived a block away from Cooper High School on S 41st Street, we dreamed of someday coming back here to Head Coach. Six years ago this month, that dream came true and 'Boy!' has it been a good one! Abilene, is a special place! The kicked back pace of living and geniune kindness of the people, have made it an all time Spradlin favorite. Our time here has been rich and memorable. Our hearts (something he'll never forget) have been touch by Abilene's warm embrace. There have been so moments, so many relationships. Things we'll always treasure.

Particularly those who have rallied around us to rebuild the Cooper Football program. We will never forget our time here and all the precious people that loved and encouraged us. It wasn't easy! It took a lot of people working very hard but together by God's grace, strength and will, the roar of the Cooper Cougars has been restored. It will be a blast to watch their continued success in the future!

Monday, January 31, 2011

2010 Cooper Football Banquet

Tonight we had the pleasure of spending the evening celebrating the Cooper Cougars 2010 football season. It was three hours well spent, as a crowd of 500+ applauded and affirmed the efforts and accomplishments of this special group of young men. Theirs was a memorable season full of special achievements and broken records. Especially for those who had invested themselves fully over the past years. The players, parents and fans enjoyed the banquet immensely! The enthusiam and sincerity of team set the tone. The 30 minute highlight video, by Cindy Gravitt, was the highlight!

A special thanks to all the parents that plotted, planned, prepared, set up, decorated and took down. We too, made a good team! :) I've never seen so much red, white and blue in one place! Everything looked beautiful. You are a inspiring group of parents. I applaud your interest and your involvement in the lives of your children. Nothing means more, than parents that care.

Love the flying jersey's! When the players arrived, the first thing they do is find their number! The second, is find their matted 8 x 10 photo (a gift from the booster club) hanging on the far wall. They make me smile! The football experience has made them men, but there is still a glimmer of boy in them.

The new cougar head looks great! A perfect 'walk through' when introducing the players and their dates.

The ticket table .......

Coaches table! The players get a kick out of this (here's my coach)! I love pictures!

The Hobby Lobby gift wrap (1/2 price Christmas) was a great way to jazz up tables, walls and thank you gifts....all color coordinated!
Again, it was a wonderful banquet! Hearts were full. Faces were happy! I was touched.
note to self: Next year..... wear waterproof mascara!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Coach's Wife Shares Wisdom

By Hannah Boen
Abilene Reporter News

In 1977, Roxanne Spradlin's life looked much like a fairy tale.She had just graduated from the University of Houston, married her childhood-sweetheart-turned-collegiate-football-star and was embarking on what she called "the adventure of newlywed life."

That adventure grew into more of a hardship as she added three kids in six years, an overworked and underpaid husband, and a struggle to overcome a rocky past.

"I was raising three children while my own heart was recovering from my dad leaving when I was 13," she said. "There were many years where I was supportive on the outside, struggling on the inside."

Her story of motherhood is similar to many women today. Looking back, though, she can see a purposeful strategy that was used to raise three kids that she said she genuinely adores and strike a successful balance in her marriage.

"I have just been smitten and crazy about him since I laid eyes on him," Roxanne said of her husband, Mike Spradlin, Cooper High School's head football coach. "We met in the eighth grade at the ripe old age of 13, and we never dated anyone else. Ours is a true love story."

She never had an interest in sports, but her husband knew as a middle school student he would grow up to be a coach, she said, and it was his passion for football that influenced almost every step of her life since that eighth grade encounter, beginning with their wedding.The pair knew long before they graduated high school and attended the University of Houston together that they would get married. However, Mike insisted the wedding not come before Jan. 1, 1977. It was the day his team was scheduled to compete in the Cotton Bowl in the University of Houston's inaugural year in the Southwest Conference.

"Things before had been all about football," she said, "but even then I'm not sure I realized how much it really would affect me and my family."

The pair were married seven days after Houston's first Cotton Bowl win and soon moved to Freeport for Mike to begin his first coaching job. That move was the first of 17, Roxanne said, in 34 years of marriage. However, moving was the least of her worries as she began to have children.

Everything that was difficult about having a hardworking husband got more difficult with children, she said.

"When our children were little I was just drowning," she said. "It was just hard, managing life. It seemed unfair. Having this unavailable husband plus not having a lot of money. But I just can't complain. All I can tell you is it has been a hard road to get where I am now- a place of peace."

Just as football had dictated her wedding, she said, it had begun to shape her marriage and her role as a mother.

"Mike is very goal oriented with work, but also with life. It's crucial to believe it's more about your journey toward the goal than just reaching the goal," she said. "That's just one of the things, many things that I've learned while listening to him coach."

Just as God wired her husband to be a coach, she said, she was wired to be married to a coach. For her, it's meant being less selfish and more resourceful.

"Anyone in that situation," she said of people overwhelmed in their role as a parent, "has to learn to make a lot out of a little. You've got to quickly tend to the business of making your own fun."

She gauges her success as a parent on the people her kids turned out to be.

"I just adore them," she said with tears in her eyes. "They're good people, the kind of people I would want to be friends with."

Mike agreed that their approach to maintaining the kind of balance that creates a happy home life has had a lot to do with football.

"I always say, 'life's not all about football but football's all about life.'" he said. "It's been interesting in that we've kind of all been brought together through me coaching. Football is, I think, just great life lessons."

He said he has recognized the struggles of families with busy fathers, especially coaches, but felt fortunate to have a job that brought his family together despite having a busy work schedule. Although Roxanne attributes the balance her family has found to Mike's work ethic and life lessons, Mike said it is the other way around.

"I could not have married someone more respectful of what I do or how I do it," he said. "She is wonderful and unwavering in supporting what I do. She is a true dream."

Ultimately, Roxanne said, the way to get the most out of parenthood is to dedicate yourself entirely to your children.

"I think it's human nature to be selfish," she said, "to think first about what's most convenient or good for you. We've spent our lives pouring into our kids all our time, energy, money, everything. Now they're grown up and to see them pour themselves into others is the greatest joy."

note: Hannah Boen, a beautiful young journalist, writes for the Abilene Reporter News. Recently we spent the afternoon chatting and today she honored me with this article. She also sent me an email inviting to read a blog post she written....what can I say? I'm glowing and blushing simultaneously! Thanks Hannah, for making me feel so special.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A new year.

The C00per Coaches Wives - 2010 Football Banquet
Wow! The dust has finally settled around here. It's calm and quiet.

The coaching life is an interesting one indeed. It is full of contrasts and color. Depth and dimension. Certainly the makings of good art and a good story. Twists and turns. One minute you're in an endless sprint. Then suddenly... it's over.

We eat, breathe, and barely sleep, September through November. Just in time to catch our breath and bust into the Playoffs with a frenzy. We go and go and go and go, hoping to go all the way. A State Championship or bust! Believing our team can do it... Knowing they can! Hoping that everyone will be strong and stay the course! We will and we wish but most of all you pray because ultimately, so many things are out of our control. We keep the faith. Trusting, leaning not on our own understanding but acknowledging in all our ways. Winning round 1, leads to winning round 2 which leads to Round 3! Playing in Cowboy Stadium was mind blowing! It's all so exciting! Like a big snowball, momentum is building, one game at a time. You peek ahead to see it's all downhill. Yeah, baby! We're on a roll! Go! Go! Go!
Then bam!!! It's gone. Without warning, we're done!

The silence is painful. The 'what ifs' deafening. The realization that something you have poured your all into, is over. People who have worked endless hours, scatter. Coaches, team mates, family, friends and fans all go their separate ways. It's time to breathe. Take time to reflect. Process, then ponder the past, present and future. Count your blessings! Every season is full of victories and accomplishments. Acknowledge them and celebrate! Yes, there is so much to celebrate!

On January 31st, the Cooper Cougar community will gather to support, encourage and recognize the young men that made up the 2010 football team. They were a special lot, their goals were big. Their accomplishments were great! I look forward to being( one of a 500 plus crowd) at this annual event. To commend and applaud the amazing efforts of this group of young men. They were fully invested all year long and now they'll receive the first of many rewards to come. Others will come in the future, when life challenges cause them to draw from their experiences. I'm convinced that the lesson's learned all year will provide them with a reservoir of strength, commitment and determination. God bless you guys...we won't forget you. In the future, may each and every one of you look to God for all your needs. May you, like us, let Him be the coach of the rest of your life. You will find that He is the secret, to being a true champion!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cowboy Stadium! Regional Playoffs....

Last Thursday while the turkey was roasting and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was on T.V., Coach and the Cooper football team were practicing! In the world of high school football it is considered an honor to still be playing football at Thanksgiving.

So you can imagine how exciting it was for this 2010 team to find themselves Distric and Area Champs two years in a roll and headed to the metroplex to play Denton Guyer, in the

....Dallas Cowboy Stadium! The complex is simply amazing. We were awe-struck!

It was truly an honor.

Unfortunately, it was not our day. And though our season has come to an end, there is so much to celebrate.!

A big congratulations to the Abilene Cooper Cougars. It was an honor to watch you play football. You invested your time and effort wisely. The payoff will be a wealth of memories, relationships and accomplishments that will last a lifetime. Thanks for getting our attention! Thanks for giving a lot of Cooper fans hope and a snoozing community a wake up call! You inspired us. Made us believe again. You changed the atmosphere.

And though we weren't ready for the season to end, it did. In the end, a lot of lessons were learned. Stories were written on the pages of countless lives.

As each of you walk into the future, may you become men of honor and outstanding leaders. Drawing from your gridiron experiences, may you lives out life with integrity, passion and purpose.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Boy, do I want to beat Denton Guyer! Cooper has lost the past two years to them in the Regional playoffs. They are very good...but don't you think it would hard for them to beat us three times in a roll? Third times a charm, right? It's been a tough week around here. Losing three starters has been a distraction to say the least, but everyone is pulling together. Lessons are being learned and stories are being written and what a story it is.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Coach Spradlin takes the Cooper High Road

Sometimes in life, we have to make hard decisions.

We’ve all had to do it…

For a parent, it might be disciplining a child knowing you’re going to have to watch them cry. For a boss, it might be letting a good person go because they’re underperforming in the workplace. For another person, it might be ending a relationship knowing it’s going to break the heart of someone you care about. For a coach, it might be letting three talented players go because they don’t meet your team’s expectations.

They all sting a little – but you make the hard decision because it’s the right thing to do.

I want to applaud Cooper High School Head Coach Mike Spradlin and his staff for making a tough decision on Friday night by removing three players from the team indefinitely. It would’ve been easy for the coaches to turn a blind eye to what was happening. That would’ve been the easy thing to do. Instead, they made a decision that could potentially cost them their opportunity at a state title.

I also applaud Spradlin and AISD Superintendent Heath Burns for their transparency. It would’ve been easy to try and cover this up or deny it; I’ve seen other districts do it. Instead, they were forthcoming about the situation without compromising the privacy of their students.

Who were the players and what did they do? At the end of the day, it’s really not that important. We all made mistakes in our teenage years. Sure, some of our mistakes were worse than others. But at the end of the day, these guys are just kids. Yes, they play on a popular football team in a town where high school football is everything. But as kids, they deserve privacy…and they deserve second chances.

Win or lose this Saturday, we should all take pride in the fact that Cooper High and Mike Spradlin chose the high road. In a day and age where teams look past players’ poor attitudes and actions, Cooper refused to do that.

As a head coach, Mike Spradlin is naturally in a position to for people to look up to him. On this occasion, Spradlin showed us what being a role model is all about.

Posted by Austin Kellerman