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Peter Stuursma is Hope College’s energetic, enthusiastic, caring, and successful football coach. Yet it’s not the only role he relishes.
He also is a loving husband and father of three. This year, for the first time, two of his children share the Hope College campus with him. His daughter, Hannah, is a junior. His son, Robbie, is a freshman who is a member of the Flying Dutchmen baseball team.
In this week’s Hope Athletics Orange and Blue Podcast, Stuursma talks with sports information director Alan Babbitt about his family and what he has been doing this fall with all of his extra time without football games.
Stuursma also gives an update on the Flying Dutchmen football team and their fall practice. Hope, the 2019 MIAA champion, has been preparing for a five-game spring season.
“I can hear the bats hitting the balls out there (at Boeve Stadium),” Stuursma said. “We’re practicing, then all of a sudden I see the (baseball) team leave and Robbie walks by and waves. That’s neat.
“I also am very, very conscious of the fact that I want this experience to be theirs, not mine. Amy and I have already done that. They have to find their niche and they have to find the things that are positive and negative. They don’t stop by and see me every day. But there’s just that time and all of a and I’ll get a text like, ‘Hey, Dad, want to go to lunch? I’m like, ‘Yep, we’re going.’ It’s just very lucky.”
Focusing on The Moment
This fall, Stuursma has used the extra time in his days to enjoy activities he usually misses out on due to his busy football schedule. He has golfed with his youngest son, Mitchell, who recently picked up the sport. Lawn mowing is debuting on his October to-do list, too.
Of course, football is still a big part of Stuursma’s life. The Flying Dutchmen are following the NCAA practice guidelines for this COVID-impacted school year and training in unique ways. Practicing and recruiting have required creative thinking and nimbleness, things Stuursma is proud to see his team and coaching staff embrace.
“With COVID, we’ve really had to learn to worry about today because we can plan and be incredibly proactive about what’s going on, but tomorrow might change and today might change,” Stuursma said. “As a staff this morning, we talked about that. How can we improve today at practice? How can we up the ante, up the energy level, up the competition level? That’s our focus now, always we’ll be.”