Sundays are special days of the week for football fans, players and coaches alike, but this Sunday, May 13, will be especially important for Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and as the oldest of four children from Barbara and the late Joe Shurmur, Pat Shurmur feels fortunate to be within two hours of his mother, who still resides in Michigan.
“My mother’s very, very, very near and dear to me,” Shurmur said. “I think there’s a special bond between the oldest child, especially the oldest boy and the mom. There are certain things that we share. It was a tough time when my father passed in ’96 that some of us will never get over. I know my mom dealt with that and it was very hard on her.”
Being the head coach in Cleveland has allowed Shurmur, his wife Jennifer and their four children, daughters Allyson, Erica and Claire and son, Kyle, to return to their Midwestern roots. Shurmur was raised in Dearborn, Mich.
“Fortunately, for a lot of my childhood , all four of my grandparents were alive,” Shurmur said. “It’s important to see the history of how your father and mother were raised. Jennifer’s mom and dad are both still alive and much like my mother, they enjoy the visits, the conversations and within every visit and every conversation, there’s a little history lesson.”
From his time as a player and coach at Michigan State University to his one-year run with the Stanford Cardinal and his time in the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Browns, Shurmur always felt his mother’s support.
“I think I would consider myself a mama’s boy,” Shurmur said as he took a photo of his mother out of his wallet behind the desk in his Berea office. “I’ve always felt like she’s always been there with the things that moms do, as far as being supportive of everything. I’m thankful for her efforts.”
Shurmur also knew that with support came lessons on how to live the right way.
“My mother, she was always about making sure you do the right thing,” Shurmur recalled. “Hidden in that, sometimes, was a great deal of love because she wanted what was best for us and that we could grow up and be productive and happy members of society. I appreciate that and I think it’s nice now that we’ve all grown.”
Shurmur will conduct his first rookie minicamp with the Browns this weekend with two practices each on Friday and Saturday before holding a single session Sunday. He will then have an opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day with his family.
“It’s fun for me to see my kids interact with Jennifer and I think that I see and feel the love that they have for her as a mom,” Shurmur said. “I know that feeling myself.”