N.C. State's Keatts navigates change as both a coach and a dad

Bridget Condon Image
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
N.C. State's Keatts navigating change as both a coach and a dad
N.C. State's Kevin Keatts is navigating change as both a coach and a dad.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- 2020 has affected us all. Many people have had to adapt to doing things virtually including NC State men's basketball coach Kevin Keatts who is navigating change as a coach and a dad.

"My 16-year-old told us he was tired of us yesterday," Keatts said. "Normally that would hurt our feelings but right now we agree with him. We all need to do something different today."

Keatts and his wife have two sons, KJ who's 16 and a 12-year-old named Kaden. He said his wife has done a great job preparing them for the school year setting up their own workspaces and he's enjoyed getting a chance to see them in a different way.

"I'll walk upstairs every now and then, and I'm probably a distraction, and I'm sitting there just watching them listening to their lectures," he said. "It was more involvement just as a coach; we are always traveling, I don't get a chance to see that side of it. It's almost like bringing everything close to home."

Keatts is also navigating the virtual world of coaching -- setting up Zoom meetings with his team, preparing his players for whatever comes next.

"Everybody has to be open-minded," he said. "There is a crazy thing about it, there is no playbook about what's going on right now. One day it is something to do with COVID. One day it's something to do with social injustice. It's a lot of different things that we all have to navigate. What I've asked our guys is we all have to be open-minded and be ready for the moment."

And as more athletes speak out -- Keatts says no topic is off the table.

"I think I said this when it first happened with George Floyd -- I couldn't believe we were in 2020," Keatts said. "I'm getting it in two fronts because I've got to explain to my kids, one who is 16 who is a junior who obviously in a couple years will be out in college and may have to deal with this a little bit more, and then I've got a bunch of guys who are 18-22 years old. As an African-American coach, I want to be there for those guys and be able to share some of my experiences."