Good Sports: Rival Clovis schools feature father-daughter coaches

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis West High School's head basketball coach is Vance Walberg. His daughter, Heather Long, is the girls' head basketball coach at Clovis North.

The love for basketball started at a young age for Coach Walberg, who is one of six boys.

"The easiest thing for my mom, she used to take us to the gym and drop us off for a couple of hours," Walberg said. "Used to have a rec center, we would just play for hours and that's really how I got involved in the game."

He carries on that same tradition with his two daughters and two sons.

"We were always in the gym, every family event," Long said. "I was keeping score when I was five."

Heather, her sister Jamie Rose, and two brothers Ian and Jason all played basketball for the Golden Eagles.

"I'll throw mom under the bus on this, she would always tell them they played really great," Walberg said. "If they really wanted to know how they played, they would ask me."

Prior to Coach Walberg's second stint at Clovis West, he spent several years as an assistant coach in the NBA. His family followed suit in the coaching world.

"He's definitely my sounding board. He's been through it all. It's nice to have someone so close to me who's been through it all," Long said. "The X's and O's part and the other part of head coaching. I tell people as great as a coach he is, he's a 100 times better father."

While both teams made it to state last season, it can be challenging when the two schools face off.

"If it's not Clovis West/Clovis North, I really enjoy it. If it's Clovis West Clovis North it's a no-win," Walberg said.

"My mom would always go to my dad's game and then my husband and kids would always come here," Long said. "Our friends and sister would always choose the better game. It's always been a tough call."

"I don't think people understand how tough it is, watching your daughter be your rival. I want to see our girls win here and I want to see my daughter win," Walberg said.

During the holidays you can always expect a friendly competition at the Walbergs'.

This time of year, we play a little board game called Catan. When we would go on summer vacations, we play whiffle ball, tennis, Bochy ball, bowling," Walberg said.

"A lot of competitions, when we were younger it was always who can wake up first who can be the last to go to bed on vacation," Long said.
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