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The Craigs

The Craigs, page C2.

Mike Craig's life revolves around sports.

He's the athletic director at Cumberland Valley, the largest school in Cumberland County, so of course it does.

It's a job that requires long hours in the office, at practices, at games, setting up schedules, making sure fields are prepped. It's not a lifestyle fit for a homebody. 

His wife can relate.

Lauren Craig is an assistant coach for softball and swimming at Dover, where she also teaches health and physical education.

Mike and Lauren Craig met at a Penn State football game on a blind date set up by friends. At the time, they were both coaching high school sports.

In 2003, after they had their first daughter, Nora, Lauren decided to take time off to stay at home with her. Lauren said that she aspired to be a stay-at-home mom. And she had prepared herself for it.

In college, she initially pursued a major in sports, medicine and athletic training. She loved helping people through injuries, but soon realized that the hours of an athletic trainer weren’t conducive to being a mother. Teaching fit better, so she added another major and graduated with two degrees in five years, one in athletic training and one in health and physical education.

In 2003, with Lauren raising their first daughter, Mike moved to an administrative role so that he could support his family on one source of income.

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But Lauren kept herself busy while raising their young family. Over the seven-year period that she was at home raising their two girls, she earned her master’s degree in athletic administration.

She got involved in coaching again when Nora was 6. Lauren was routinely picking up and dropping off her daughters at practice and thought, “I’m already there so I might as well help.”

Their two daughters, Nora and Mary Alice, are still heavily involved in sports.

“They didn’t really have a choice but to like sports,” Lauren said.

Nora is 14 and plays soccer, softball and swims, and Mary Alice, 13, runs cross country, swims and plays soccer.

For Mike and Lauren, raising two children while both working full-time jobs can be tiresome. But they make it work. Mike often shapes his schedule around Lauren’s so that he can be home when she is coaching an away game. And some people help them out. When Lauren started coaching high school sports she hired some of her students to babysit.

Perhaps most importantly, Mike and Lauren have accommodated the teams that one another root for. Lauren says that she is now a Penn State fan, by marriage, and that Mike is a New England Patriots fan, by marriage.

The only sport they cannot concede on is baseball — Lauren goes for the Boston Red Sox and Mike goes for the New York Yankees. That isn’t changing anytime soon.

“It isn’t perfect,” Lauren said, jokingly.

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