“At home, my wife was coming to the hospital daily to check on my updates and treatments, while at the same time bringing our 5-year-old son to and from school and being home with our 2-year-old daughter,” Kuchar said. “I’m sure it was exhausting for her, and I could tell. Not only was I feeling awful, but I felt badly for the amount of stress and pressure she was under to maintain the house and family in my absence.”
The herculean effort of his wife was made possible by the families of some of Kuchar’s players, who also stepped up to help.
“The parents of players got together some nights to bring food to my family so my wife wasn’t running all over the place and coming home to feed the kids after leaving the hospital,” Kuchar said. “The King family, Chamberlain family, Cross family, Belmonte family and Nasser family — and I’m sure several more — all chipped in in some way and we felt the support given by all.”
The communal effort to keep a team, its coach and his family afloat through troubled waters is something that Kuchar has come to expect from his extended hockey family.
“(It) has always been a unique one in my eyes,” he said. “Whenever there’s an issue with someone in need, regardless of what school or team they play or played for, these ‘families’ seem to rise to the occasion.”
Kuchar has since returned to his duties as head coach despite the stresses it puts on him. Yelling out instruction and putting players where they need to be is draining for a body still healing. Kuchar knows his recovery will be extended, but the season starts Saturday against Triton, so missing more time wasn’t an option.
“With the season starting against a league rival on Saturday, I really don’t have a choice,” he said. “No one will feel sorry for our team, and they shouldn’t. We just need to keep on moving forward each day and working to catch up and be ready to compete at the level I’ve come to expect from this program.”