Guest column: It runs in the family

Raquel Rodriguez, daughter of Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez, has been fortunate to have her family right by her side

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Football head coach Rich Rodriguez poses with his family at 2015 College Game Day. Rita (left), Raquel (left center) and Rhett (right center) all bring unique experiences to the football world in Tucson.

College is a time where most students experience some of the best times of their lives. I have been fortunate to experience college with family right by my side. for our family has a special relationship with the University of Arizona.  

My father Rich, is the head football coach for the Wildcats, I am a Cheerleader for the University, and my brother, Rhett, is a freshman quarterback on the football team. My mother, Rita stays extremely involved, and is the glue that keeps us together. She keeps everything in perspective and at the end of the day she makes sure everyone is okay. 

As a result of my father’s profession in college coaching my childhood and family lifestyle has always been a little unique compared to others. My family and I have moved around the country living in five different states, West Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Michigan and finally Arizona. 

Although all the moving around as a child and teenager was difficult, it only brought my family closer. I was 16 years old when my family made the move to Arizona and while I was extremely excited for my father to start coaching at a new place I was very nervous to be leaving the east coast. Tucson and the community was so welcoming to our family I knew I found a new home and wanted to attend the University of Arizona. 

A week in the life of the Rodriguez family during football is extremely busy, but a fun type of chaos. The week is full of preparations for the upcoming game, practices, workouts, game planning and the making of the famous nacho dip award given to a football player each week. This tradition was started by my mother back at West Virginia University. Two players receive the dip who have overcome adversity at some point during their college career. 

Saturday night football games have a special place in my heart. One of my favorite parts of game day is being able to see each one of my family members take part in the Wildcat Walk and give them a huge hug. After a great win we come home and re-watch the game to relive that moment once again, but if we lose we go home and erase the recording of the game and move on to the next week. In addition to all of those things, the top priority here at the University for my brother and I is school. 

Although there is no true off season in college football, we manage to find a couple weeks during the summer to vacation at Lake Oconee in Georgia. When in Georgia, we enjoy boating, swimming, golfing and playing with our furry family members, our dogs, Roxie and Rambo. 

Roxie and Rambo are the newest additions to the Rodriguez family and are most definitely the cutest. No matter what the circumstances their unconditional love and loyalty always puts a smile on all of our faces. Like all families we have ups and downs, good times and bad times, but the strength of our family is in each other and we would not have it any other way. 


Follow Raquel Rodriguez on Twitter



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