Born Into The Boxer Tradition

After the Pacific women's soccer team played one of their best matches of the season on Sunday, head coach Morgan Joseph went to bed satisfied with the win.

But early Monday morning, she saw her life changing by the second. She and her husband Dane, the programs associate head coach, weren't worried about their coming matches at Pacific Lutheran and George Fox. Their focus was on contractions and packing for a stay at the hospital to bring their son into the world.

After one of the fastest births the new Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center doctors have seen for a first baby, Ira John Varick Joseph was born Monday, Oct. 28, at 9:09 a.m. Morgan and Dane's lives were forever changed.

The idea of starting a family had always been a plan of theirs, but the baby's conception wasn't the exact timing they were looking for.  With two weeks left in the season, Morgan's original due date was set for Nov. 2. The women's soccer team would be heading to Pacific Lutheran for a match, but Morgan and Dane would have headed to the hospital.

"We were hoping that it would have been further after soccer was over," said Morgan. "In terms of our ideal plan."

If Ira would have been born on the due date, Morgan and Dane would not have been able to coach at Puget Sound. Lauren Esbensen, associate athletic director and head men's soccer coach Jim Brazeau, were willing and able to step into fill those duties. Jennifer Bhalla, a professor in Pacific's exercise science program, and the women's soccer team's Faculty Associate, was also available to help out if needed.

Morgan Joseph Feature 10/31/13

As things worked out, Dane will be on the sidelines this weekend while Morgan and Ira rest at home.

Throughout the season, there weren't many conflicts with the soccer season that the Josephs had to overcome. One birthing class came in conflict with a practice, but nothing else stopped the two from being at matches or being able to coach at the high level.

"We did have to stop about three or four times on our bus trip to Whitworth for bathroom breaks," said Dane. "But we've lucked out."

One challenge that Morgan dealt with throughout the season was keeping her stress level down. She focused on being calm and cool and leaving the intensity and celebration to her husband.

"I've really just tried to take a step back, in terms of being more of the eyes on as opposed to getting in the mix of rattling it up," said Morgan. "That is really my personality for the most part, but it's a challenge in the heat of competition. The adrenaline is running and stress gets high."

It's not just the two of them that are gaining another member. The women's soccer team will also add two more feet.

"It's a very special and unique scenario in my mind," said Morgan. "This team is already like our family, so the girls seemed really excited about what's coming. We were all expecting an addition to our family. It will be a fun adventure."

The Pacific community has been a great support system throughout the last nine months. "We want to thank the Pacific community and family for always being supportive," said Dane.

The Josephs are not only excited about having a family, but bringing their child up in a collegiate athletic environment. Ira will be packed around until he is able to scurry around on his own two feet.

"It's exciting," said Morgan. "I love being around collegiate athletics, that's why we do this. It will be exciting for him to be able to grow up in that environment and see what it's all about and get a different perspective. Hopefully we're not putting too much pressure on him to succeed on that front, but if he does, great!"

With Dane being a professor at Pacific, Ira will not only be exposed to the athletics of the university, but also the academics that Pacific has to offer and the importance that academics have at the Division III level.

"It's great that were in an environment that really fosters academics as well," said Dane. "Ira will also be around people that genuinely know who he is. In my culture, it is very much a community event when it comes to raising kids and taking care of them. I hope this small atmosphere will be conducive to that."

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013