make it a family affair
mens basketball team is more than a group of players, on and
off the court. With head coach Neil Doughertys son playing
at TCU, it is a family as well.
The mens basketball team shares many things: the court, hotel
rooms, the locker room, even the same name.
As of this past fall, head basketball coach Neil Dougherty now coaches
his son, who is also named Neil.
Im proud of him, Dougherty said. He looked
around at a few different colleges, but came to really like what
he saw here at TCU and Im glad that he did.
Neil Dougherty Jr. agrees with his father.
When my dad began coaching here I got to see more of TCU and
learn more about it, the freshman said. Its a
nice school. It grew on me.
With the opportunity to play for his father, the point guard said
there were several advantages to his situation.
In the back of my mind I was a little worried, the younger
Dougherty said. But I looked at playing under my dad as a
new challenge for me to face. Also, it helped me get accustomed
to playing basketball here by my not having to play and work for
a coach that I had never met before.
Other members of the team also say that having the two Doughertys
on the team adds to its cohesiveness.
think its cool that both of them are here, freshman
Art Pierce said. It has given all the members of the team
insight about our coach. Having Neil on the team has helped us to
understand coach Dougherty better than before.
Creating a strong bond between coach and player is an important
aspect that coach Dougherty said he is glad to see improving within
With Neil playing and helping other players understand more
of how I work, it has really helped adjust the relationship between
myself and the players and vice versa in a positive way, the
elder Dougherty said. The responsibilities that I have as
coach on the court and the transition to my being there for the
players off the court is more comfortable between us all.
The differences between on the court and off are something that
both the Neils are well aware of.
When Im at practice, for example, what we do is very
hard work and Im treated as just another member of the team,
the younger Dougherty said. Theres no worries about
any kind of special treatment. We have a very close team. Its
probably the closest that Ive ever played on. Were like
Coach Dougherty said he looks at the family connection as a strong
point, but not as one that is to be used to a great extent.
Neil knows who I am as a father, the coach said. Now
he has the opportunity to see and gather a bigger picture of who
I am, seeing more of the coaching aspects and responsibilities of
my life other than just a parent. I try to be more of a coach to
him, much like all the players on the team and I feel that it is
working out well.
The different settings that the two generations of Doughertys interact
in has proved valuable to both father and son.
I take basketball, and college in general, seriously,
the younger Dougherty said. Im glad to play basketball
in college and playing for my dad is great.