The Collegian
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Albrights making Richmond Spiders soccer a family affair

Women's soccer head coach Peter Albright, junior goalie Allie Albright and freshman forward Timmy Albright are all competing under one roof at Richmond, even if they aren't living under the same one anymore.

The Albrights are Richmond locals; Allie and Timmy attended Collegiate School where their mother Karen teaches and coaches track and field.

Peter is starting his 16th season as head coach at Richmond and Allie is in her third season since joining the team in 2009. Since then, they have been working to balance their father-daughter relationship with their coach-player relationship, Allie said.

"Freshman year it was hard to find the balance," she said. "I was nervous about my dad's relationship with the players and how I would affect that or how I would fit in. I ended up distancing myself and losing some of our father-daughter time, but since then we have been so much better. Our relationship is great now."

Albright said he and his daughter had made an agreement when Allie first arrived on campus: that they would differentiate when they were talking as family members and when they were talking as teammates.

"There were a couple of bumpy moments," he said. "There were times she came to me as her coach and I answered as her dad or the other way around and she got upset. I have to make sure I stop and think about which side of me is giving the answer; the coach or the dad."

While Allie and coach Albright were at school fixing the kinks in their relationship, Timmy was at home finishing his junior and senior years, watching from a distance, he said. Although he was never pulled into his sister and dad's rough patches, he would hear bits and pieces from each party, he said.

When Timmy decided to come to Richmond to play soccer, Albright said he knew his relationship with his son would change, but so would his relationship with men's head coach Clint Peay.

Peay and Albright's offices share a wall, so again, Albright made a pact that he wouldn't intrude on his son's life as he had with Allie, he said. He said he wanted to protect his friendships with the men's soccer staff as well as maintain his close relationship with his son.

"It really is an impossible situation," he said. "I want to be a dad and walk next door and ask Clint all sorts of questions about Timmy's play, but I know that's not fair to Clint or Timmy. I have really focused on not intruding and I'm proud of how it has played out so far."

Although all three Albrights are at Richmond, they rarely see each other, coach Albright said. When Timmy walked in for the interview, it was the first time Peter had seen his son in two weeks, he said.

Timmy said: "I actually thought I would see him more. We're both really busy, but it's pretty special I can go see my dad whenever I want when I'm at school. Lots of kids don't have that face-to-face time with their parents that Allie and I get."

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Although coach Albright is Allie's head coach, they don't see each other much outside of games and practices, Albright said. Allie recently suffered a season-ending injury, but when she was active, she and the other goalies had their own coach so her interaction with her dad on the field was minimal, she said.

The game schedule made it even harder to see one another, Allie said. During conference play, the men and women's teams play the same schedule. This means when the women are playing at home, the men are playing that same school away.

Albright mapped out Timmy's schedule when it was first released and found he could attend six games, he said. "I got to see Timmy score his first college goal and I lost it," he said. "That was really special. I went crazy in the stands because at that point, I was dad and not a coach. It was pretty awesome."

It may be rocky at times, but it is clear all three Albrights wouldn't have it any other way.

"You know there's no handbook with this," coach Albright said. "There are a lot of challenges, but we are very fortunate. It's absolutely wonderful. I love that this is happening this way. It's pretty cool and unique."

Contact reporter Rachael Bilney at rachael.bilney@richmond.edu

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