Kenny Cooper said yesterday that the criticism of his coaching and the slumping Baltimore Blast has spilled over to his family, prompting him to send his wife and four children to Dallas for three weeks, away from the negative comments.
Cooper said his wife, Irene, and children, Amanda, Kenny Jr., Molly and Joseph, have been in Dallas two weeks and will stay there with Irene's family for one more week.
"It's better for Irene and the family to be away during all this losing," said Cooper, whose team has lost 12 of its past 13 games to fall to 20-30. "It's tougher on my wife than me. Irene has to sit there [in the stands] and hear the talk. She's gone through a couple of situations [arguments with fans at games]."
Cooper said his wife has not attended the past two home games and would miss tomorrow night's final regular-season home game, against the Dallas Sidekicks at the Baltimore Arena. He said she would attend any playoff games the team was involved in.
"I don't want anybody to feel sorry for her," Cooper said. "It's just best that she step away from things for a while."
Also, the Blast coach said that Amanda, 11, and Kenny Jr., 7, have been hurt by "things they hear in school."
"They're old enough to understand, and they come home and ask questions," Cooper said.
It adds up to one thing, the coach said. "I feel the city has lost a little belief in me. As a leader, that's the way it is. Whether you're in politics, government or sports, your leadership is challenged in difficult times. But I believe people will change their minds if we make the playoffs."