Coach Sharrieff Shah's famous pep talks aren't only for his wife Jen. For nine seasons, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City husband has been a college football coach at Salt Lake City's University of Utah, where he works as the team's cornerbacks and special teams coordinator. ESPN.com dubbed him one of “10 coaches who adapt and thrive” in 2014, and five of his players went on to play in the NFL.
Before joining University of Utah's coaching staff, Sharrieff was on a slightly different career path. He spent 12 years as an attorney, specializing in medical malpractice and catastrophic automobile accidents, while also working as a certified agent through the NFL Player Association (NFLPA) from 1996 to 2002. In addition to practicing law, Sharrieff trained players for the NFL Combine and worked as a sideline reporter for Utah radio and TV stations, so the leap to coaching was a pretty natural progression.
It also makes sense that he wound up at the University of Utah, where he met Jen as well as ran indoor track and played on the school's football team from 1990 to 1993. Before he sustained a career-ending neck injury during his senior year, Sports Illustrated had even named him one of their National Defensive Players of the Week, according to his University of Utah's coach's bio.
Between practices, games, and recruiting, Sharrieff is often away from home, leading to what Jen calls a "FaceTime marriage" during football season. Despite some admitted loneliness, she insists they make it work just fine. "For me to be able to be a coach's wife, it takes me being very independent," she told to Bustle in November of her husband, with whom she shares sons Sharrieff Jr., 26, and Omar, 16. "It works because I'm not at home waiting for him to get off work. We both have our own career paths, and we're there to support each other."
And when tempers flare on the show, Sharrieff's job also leaves him plenty equipped to quell aggression between the women. If Jen is their "queen bee," the level-headed coach may be the MVP.