Mike Thibault is one hell of a basketball coach. But he's a great dad too.
Last weekend, Monumental Sports Network released a video where both of his children, Mystics assistant coach Eric Thibault and Mississippi State Bulldogs assistant coach Carly Thibault talked about family moments, with a proud dad also present. The nearly nine-minute is embedded below. It is certainly worth the time watching when you get a chance.
A special sit-down with Coach Thibault, his son, and his daughter on Father's Day. Meet The Thibaults!https://t.co/hKKuDNV3rT— MonumentalSportsNet (@MonSportsNet) June 19, 2016
In case you don't have the time right now, here are some notes:
:50 - Carly wanted to be a basketball coach when she was a kid. For Eric, this did not happen until he was midway though college. Eric went to the University of Missouri for college, while Carly went to Monmouth University. She was a guard who played four years for the Hawks and averaged 40 percent from the three point line in her junior and senior seasons.
3:10 - Mike wanted Eric and Carly to do things they were passionate about. He mentioned a couple times earlier that he actually tried to discourage Eric from being a coach several times.
4:00 - Mike also mentioned that his kids were well-prepared for the life of being a professional basketball coach. They may have been a little young to remember their dad leading USA Basketball men's national team to the 1993 FIBA Americas Championship. But they certainly remember other great moments like the Bucks' 2001 Eastern Conference Finals run and the Sun's back-to-back WNBA Finals appearances.
There's also the bad side. Mike was fired from other jobs in the past, including by the Sun in 2012, so they fully understand that coaching is a mobile profession, to say the least.
4:50's - Mike talked about how he and Eric would openly disagree about certain basketball concepts, but that this would not affect the rest of their day. Other assistants like Marianne Stanley and Awvee Storey acknowledged that they never saw this before.
6:30 - Carly talked about the first season Mike was coaching the Connecticut Sun in 2003. On August 25 of that year, the Sun defeated the Indiana Fever, 72-62 on the road to clinch a playoff berth. It was Carly's birthday and she was on ESPN with dad for an interview after the game while many of her friends made the trip down from Wisconsin (where they lived then). Mike was an assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1998-2002, which coincided with Ray Allen's early years (and part of Ernie Grunfeld's tenure as well).
7:00 - Mike talked about the 2008 Beijing Olympics as another great shared moment for his family as a whole. In that year, Thibault was an assistant coach for the women's national team who won the Gold Medal. Eric's 21st birthday happened at that time, where the coaches and players treated him out. On the night the women's national team won the Gold Medal, the Thibaults were up all night celebrating. Mike and Eric drank champagne and smoked cigars at 4 in the morning. I wish I could do that with my dad!
8:15 - Eric believed that the Mystics' 2013 season turnaround was a major moment for him and his father. The Mystics were coming off a league-worst 5-29 season and were unlucky enough to come up empty in a hyped draft lottery class that had three future superstars in it. Despite that, the Mystics were 17-17 in 2013 and it marked the first chapter of the team's evolution to the younger home-grown squad you see today.