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A bond at home and on the court: Father coaches son on Skyview HS basketball team

HSS Skyview Father and Son Duo
HSS Skyview Father and Son Duo(KPTV)
Updated: Feb. 7, 2020 at 6:53 AM PST
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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) - A father and son can share a bond over a lot of things. This time of year, that bond for many is with the game of basketball.

From the driveway, to the park and now to senior year - a father and son continue to run a two-man weave for the Skyview Storm.

Gruhler to Gruhler.

“He would sit there for seconds at a time yelling at me, ‘Dad, dad! Hey, dad!’ and it just wouldn’t compute, so he’d say ‘Hey Gruhler, coach,’ and I’d turn and look, so it just kind of became a thing,” said Matt Gruhler.

Nothing could be cooler.

“Now at home, he ends up calling me Gruhler sometimes more than dad, unless he is mad at me maybe, then he’s like, ‘ah, dad,’” Matt said.

Matt is in his seventh season at Skyview High School as counselor and basketball head coach - coaching up oldest of his three kids, senior captain, Kyle Gruhler.

“It’s mixed emotions, for sure. There are good days and bad days. You take the brunt of the heat sometimes, and that’s kind of what you have to do as a coaches kid,” said Kyle.

Being a coach’s kid does come with perks.

“I’ve slowly gotten used to it, but it’s fun,” said Kyle. “I get easy access to the gym. I basically have a set of keys here.”

The key to the Gruhler relationship is being able to listen or just not talk at all.

“The podcasts. Love your podcasts. Always the awkward car rides home from a loss,” said Kyle.

“We get in the car, for the most part, is now dad-son time,” said Matt. “Now, we both carry the basketball stuff into dad-son time, in the car sometimes or even at home a little bit. Typically then, the code becomes, ‘hey, can Coach Gruhler talk to you right now?’ That is kind of our way of saying, ‘okay, we are going to have more of a basketball conversation if you are ready for it.’ There has been a few times when he’s been ‘yeah, not right now,’ so it just goes back to dad-son quiet time.”

“Even though the long car rides of awkwardness and silence, it’s all love. There is nothing I would replace this with,” said Kyle. “This is something that I really cherish with me and I will remember forever really.”

Soon comes the big move, as Kyle has signed on for a full-ride scholarship to hoop and chase down a degree in kinesiology at Division II Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

“We are looking forward to Facetiming and all of those things that keep us a little bit closer,” said Matt.

Kyle is one of four Storm seniors as time keeps on slippin’ into the future.

“I’m looking at it going, ‘oh my gosh, that went so fast. I want some of that time back,’” said Matt.

So, can the kid dunk on dad?

“I can definitely dunk on him. He says no, but I could definitely dunk on him,” said Kyle.

“I’d foul him before he would do that,” Matt said. “No easy buckets in our house, for sure.”

Skyview now looks to storm on to the Tacoma Dome in March. The last time the team was in the state tournament was in 2018.