Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin Popovich, has passed away. According to TNT, Erin leaves behind two children and two grandchildren. The full details of Erin’s death have not been released, but she had been battling an illness for sometime.
“Erin Popovich, wife of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, died today, Spurs said in a release. They were married four decades. She had been ill over an extended period,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted.
Learn more about Gregg’s family.
1. Gregg & His Wife Have 2 Children, Mickey & Jill
2. Gregg’s Daughter Erin Gave His Father a Pep Talk After the Spurs Lost to the Heat in the 2013 Finals
Gregg has been one of the most successful NBA coaches in recent history, but that does not mean he has not suffered from heartbreaking losses on the court. Gregg has led the Spurs to five championships, but it is the losses that often stick with coaches the most. The Spurs lost in the 2013 NBA Finals to the Heat in seven games.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Gregg was feeling a bit sorry for himself, when his daughter told him it was time to quit feeling sorry for himself. The San Antonio Express-News detailed the exchange between the father and daughter.
His daughter, Jill, told him something similar this summer. With a personality she clearly gets from her father, she said:
“OK, Dad, let me get this straight: You won four championships, and you go to a fifth Finals. Other coaches lose all the time. But poor Greggy can’t lose because he’s special. Can you please get over yourself? End of story.”
He stared at her — then started laughing. Hadn’t his daughter told him the same get-over-yourself line he’s told so many others?
“That started me on the path to recovery,” he said.
3. Gregg Has Declined to Do In-Home Media Interviews & His Wife Did Not Do Interviews
There are few topics off limits with Gregg, as he is one of the few head coaches unafraid to discuss politics with the media. His family though is another matter. ESPN detailed Gregg’s desire to keep his home out of the spotlight, and his wife also declined to do interviews.
No cameraman or reporter has stepped foot into Popovich’s house for the obligatory coach’s home-life feature. Erin rarely attends games and has declined every interview request since her husband became Spurs GM in 1994.
Gregg has enjoyed sharing big moments with his family. ESPN recounted the Spurs coach enjoying the Spurs winning another NBA title with his family.
And why, as the Spurs players danced around the Madison Square Garden floor celebrating their title in ’99, Pop was busy arguing with security guards to get Erin and his two kids, Micky and Jill, onto the court. Then he pulled his family into a tight circle and thanked them for allowing him to do his part.
4. Gregg’s Father, Raymond, Was Serbian & His Mother, Katherine, Was Croatian
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Gregg was born in Chicago, Indiana. His father, Raymond, was Serbian, while his mother, Katherine, Was Croatian. His split was Gregg was in fifth grade, and his mother moved them to a more rural farm town of Merrillville. It was a transition that was difficult for Gregg.
“I was crushed,” Gregg told Texas Monthly (via San Antonio Express). “My mom had to beat me with a broom to get me out of the house. I remember that. I was out in the garage one night, and she came running out with a broom, just beat me over the head, kicking my butt out into the street because I would not leave.”
5. Gregg Calls Basketball a Way to “Support My Family”, But Believes It Is Not the “Most Interesting Thing in My Life”
Gregg is not keen on doing sideline interviews during games, but can be extremely candid on non-gamedays. Gregg was recently asked how he handles balancing his family with his high-pressure job. He spoke with TSN’s Josh Lewenberg about how basketball was far from the most important thing in his life.
“Basketball is not my life,” Gregg explained. “It’s how I earn my money and how I support my family, but it’s not the most interesting thing in my life.”
Very few people knew what was going on with the Popovich family behind the scenes, but based on ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s report Erin had been ill for an extended period of time.
Source: Heavy Sports