Billy, was it difficult dating one of your dad’s players?
It was very tough. I really did not want people to know; I did not want to put Lyndsey or my dad in a tough situation if the word got out. We had to keep a very low profile because, in Ames, everyone knows Iowa State basketball. People would recognize Lyndsey or me very easily and would start making assumptions and talking. That’s not what I wanted. We had a lot of classes together, and then we would be at practice together. Once practice was over, we just hung out at one of our places. We did not go out in public together.
What did Coach Fennelly think of all this? How about Lyndsey’s teammates?
He didn’t know for the longest time. Not many people besides our friends knew. It was well hidden from him, and we wanted to keep it that way. The one thing we agreed on from the beginning was it was never right for Coach to have to answer the question, “What do you think of Lyndsey and Billy?” in the media room. It wasn’t his business -- nor anyone else’s, really -- so we kept it that way. He started to figure it out by our junior and senior years, but it was this unspoken understanding we had. As a player/coach, we always had a close relationship. So I think he trusted how we were handling it. Now that I’m his daughter-in-law, our relationship hasn’t changed a ton. I still call him ‘Coach;’ he’s a lifelong mentor of mine; and we still talk a few times a week.
My teammates weren’t too tough on me. One of my first concerns, especially as a freshman, was making sure no one had negative feelings about it or thought I was getting “preferred” treatment. (Trust me, I didn’t!) They got to know [Billy] and weren’t surprised as to why we were together. They all were great about it, and we had a ton of fun.