This month, we caught up with Chris Mooney, the University of Richmond’s men’s basketball head coach. Approaching his seven-year mark with the Spiders this spring, Mooney led the team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 about this time last year.
A four-year standout and scoring notable at Princeton, Mooney got his start coaching high school hoopsters and teaching English in Philadelphia. Before accepting the UR post, his previous head coaching assignment was at Air Force Academy. The 38-year-old recently signed a contract extension at UR, saying that his reasons for staying in Richmond had little to do with salary and everything to do with his commitment to the game, and to the student athletes he guides on and off the court.
He and his wife Lia, also a Princeton graduate, have been married thirteen years. Their son, Danny, is two. Mooney said he always knew he would have a career in basketball and has learned a lot from his chosen field. “Coaching young people definitely prepares you for fatherhood,” Mooney says. “It teaches you patience.”
When it comes to advice for parents who recognize athletic potential in their kids and want to help them realize it, the coach offers this: “Encourage them to challenge themselves, to play against older kids and better competition.”
Mountains or beach? Beach
Dogs or cats? Dogs
What book is on your nightstand right now? The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
If you were stranded on a desert island, what food would you want to grow on trees? Cheese steaks
Same island, what’s the one tech gadget you would want with you? Cell phone
What’s the last song you downloaded on your iPod? Pearl Jam’s Twenty
Favorite Richmond restaurant when family comes to town? Azzuro
When it’s just you and your wife? The Tavern
What is your favorite way to spend a rainy Sunday? Cooking dinner
What is your favorite vacation spot? Maui
What is your energy source? Unsweetened iced tea with lemon
Favorite family day outing? Richmond football game
Finish this sentence:
“My family loves it when… I’m in the off-season.”
Readers will be surprised to know…
my 2-year-old son Danny is bilingual.