Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has enjoyed a successful career coaching in the NFL, thanks in no small part to the support from his wife Ingrid Harbaugh. “I have the greatest daughter and the greatest wife in the history of the world,” he told the student body of Stetson University in 2015 (via The Baltimore Sun). Ingrid met John long before he was working for the NFL; their romance dates back to 1985 when John was a graduate assistant for Western Michigan University, and Ingrid worked for the school’s baseball program, as per Heavy.
The two share a daughter, Alison Harbaugh, who has followed her family’s love of sports. Alison is a skilled lacrosse player who committed to playing the sport at Notre Dame. Ingrid revealed to ESPN that Harbaugh has difficulty relaxing during his daughter’s games, explaining, “He says watching her games is way more difficult than coaching the Ravens during games.”
Ingrid can relate to the shared anxieties of watching a loved one’s games. “The first word would be ‘stressful’… It’s very stressful, for like all six months of the season,” she said while describing the life of an NFL coach’s wife, as per Bleacher Report. Despite the stress, Ingrid has embraced the NFL lifestyle. She appeared in an NFL shop commercial to promote their women’s line, which featured Ingrid wearing a Baltimore Ravens jacket.
Keep reading to see how Ingrid has John’s good luck charm for decades.
John and Ingrid Harbaugh do this ritual before every game
Ingrid Harbaugh has had to navigate being a coach’s wife while also teaching her daughter Alison about being a coach’s kid. Following a difficult playoff game where the Baltimore Ravens lost on a last-second play, Ingrid had to prepare her daughter for dealing with the potential taunts from classmates. “All you need to say is, ‘I’m very proud of my dad. I’m very proud of the team,'” the mother said in an interview with iVillage.
The married couple has had a superstitious ritual for decades that predates the coach’s time with the Ravens. “John and I, since we’ve known each other… We always signal each other before a game,” Ingrid revealed, “He blows me a kiss, and I blow him a kiss and he gives me a thumbs up.” The Harbaughs even have a contingency plan for away games where John calls his wife from the locker room before taking the field.
Ingrid also shared some advice for other women who are married to football fanatics and want to squeeze in some quality time. “If you want to spend four hours with your husband on Sunday, you may want to watch a game with them and start to understand it,” she said. Being a coach’s wife, especially at such a high level, is no easy task, but Ingrid Harbaugh definitely has it figured out.
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