Matt Mauser is Christina Mauser’s husband. On January 26, Christina was tragically killed in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and seven other people. The other people who were killed in the crash have been named as Gianna Bryant, the pilot, Ara Zobayan, Sarah Chester, her daughter, Payton Chester, John Altobelli, his wife, Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Keri Altobelli. At the time of writing, the cause of the Sikorsky S-76B crash, remains under investigation.
Matt Mauser had three children with his wife, ages 3, 9 and 11. Christina Mauser’s maiden name was Patterson. Matt told ABC News that he had been texting his wife around the time of the crash because she would usually text to say that she landed safely. He said that the couple had been nervous about her flying to games having done so previously on a handful of occasions. A friend of the family called Matt and asked if Christina was okay because there were reports that Kobe had been killed. Matt said at that point he “hit the floor.”
The day after the crash, Matt told “Today” that his wife was “extraordinary” and that’s the reason that Kobe Bryant wanted her to coach alongside him. Christina Mauser had been an assistant coach at the Mamba Academy’s AAU team, where Gianna Bryan played. The Mauser’s eldest daughter played on a team at the Mamba Academy, the Little Mambas.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Matt Mauser Says He Is Still Tryin to ‘Navigate Life With 3 Kids & No Mom’
Matt said that recently, Kobe had been trying to show some video to a group of eighth-graders but couldn’t figure out the computer and relied on Christina to handle the technology because she was “technologically incredibly savvy,” her husband told “Today.”
Matt said, “He didn’t choose Christina [as his assistant coach] for just any ordinary reason. She was extraordinary.” Matt also said that through Kobe’s coaching of private school kids, they had become “gritty and tough.” In his interview with ABC News, Matt said that despite her talent for coaching, there were times when he wished his wife was a stay-at-home mom.
Matt added, “It’s horrible. I’ve got three small kids, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.”
Matt said in the “Today” interview that his daughter saw some of “Sportscenter” in the hours after the crash and she said it was “nice to know that everyone is hurting along with us. I know that sounds odd, but it does kind of help.”
2. Matt & Christina Mauser Used to Coach Side-By-Side at Harbor Day School
Matt Mauser works as a Spanish language teacher at the same school, Harbor Day, that was attended by Kobe’s daughter, Natalia. According to Matt’s LinkedIn page, he is also a music teacher at the school. Matt is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. Both Matt and Christina Mauser were graduates of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California.
Matt said that he became friendly with Kobe after the Lakers legend accompanied the class on a field trip to San Diego. At that time, Matt was the school’s basketball coach and Christina was his assistant. On the school’s basketball team’s website, Christina is still listed as the assistant coach. Matt continued in his “Today” interview, “[Kobe] saw what an amazing mind she had for basketball and he brought her on. He asked her to teach the kids defense. Kobe didn’t really understand the zone defense because he never played at high school or college. She was an amazing mind for defense and basketball, so he brought her on.”
In a Facebook post in the aftermath of the crash, Matt wrote, “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash.”
Matt gave another heartbreaking interview on the night of January 28 to Anderson Cooper on CNN. Matt discussed how it is his daughter’s fourth birthday shortly. He said, “I’m trying to navigate that. I’d walk in and she would call for mom… and now I walk in, she doesn’t call for her. I think she gets it, she knows we’re grieving.”
Matt described the difficulty of the aftermath of the crash saying, “The first day was brutal. I woke up this morning and I said, ‘I’m OK,’ and then I walked out and I started to cry. And then I saw my kids and I started to cry.” Matt went on to say, “My son… he has outbursts… I hold him and I hug him and I kiss him. I give him a hug for mom and a hug for me. I just cope, day-by-day.” In his interview with ABC News, Matt concluded by saying, “I loved her. It’s as simple as that. I loved my wife with everything I had.”
3. Matt Said One of the Things That Impressed Him Most About His Future Wife Was Her Basketball Skills
During the Anderson Cooper interview, Matt said that one of the first things that impressed him about Christina was her basketball skills. Matt said, “When we started dating, I have a basketball hoop in my front yard … I thought I was pretty good and I got on the driveway with her and I had never experienced anything like Christina. She was quick, strong, powerful, she could dribble in, penetrate, come back and shoot.” Matt also complimented his wife’s “deadly” 3-point shooting. Matt had earlier told “Today” that his wife’s nickname as a coach was “Mother of Defense” aka “MOD.”
Away from sports, Matt told CNN that his wife’s attention to detail was apparent across her parenting saying, “My wife was not just focused on the big things, my wife was focused on the little things … (her) attention to detail about what kind of foods to give to our kids, how she would research every disease that’s out there … she was relentless and organized and detailed.”
A neighbor of the Mauser family, Michael Mednick, told ABC News, “Between her husband Matt and herself, there was so much love. It just oozed out of them. They just loved each other.”
4. Matt Mauser Calls Himself a ‘Singer/Songwriter/Entertainer/Dad’
On his Facebook page, Matt refers to himself as “Singer/Song Writer/Entertainer/Dad.” Matt played in multiple bands, including Sinatra Big Band, a Frank Sinatra tribute act. An Orange County Register review of a performance reads, “While there are plenty of tribute acts and impersonators of legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra, Matt takes it to a level beyond.” The band specializes on recreating Sinatra’s performances at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. The Sinatra Big Band was due to perform in Brea, California, on the night Christina Mauser was killed.
Matt is also the lead singer of the band, Tijuana Dogs. He was a founding member of the band in 1997. On their Twitter page, the Tijuana Dogs are described as a “High-energy rock/dance band.” On the Sinatra Big Band website, the bio section says that Matt started the band after being introduced to Pete Jacobs by Tijuana Dogs guitarist Dave Murdy. Murdy had been in Wartime Radio Revue with Jacobs. In 2011, Matt approached Jacobs with the idea of starting a Sinatra tribute act.
5. Matt’s Charisma Saw Him Favorably Compared to Mark McGrath
Matt says that on his Facebook page he is from Huntington Beach, California. The Tijuana Dogs were the subject of an Orange County Register feature in 2006 which saw Matt described as having “that same charm and showmanship that have made Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath a favorite of countless female fans.” At the time of the article, Matt had been working as a lifeguard in addition to his music. When asked about the eclectic mix of songs covered by the band, Matt said, ““It is a conscientious thing. I’ve never been attracted to just one style of music. With so many styles, I try to encompass all different styles in writing and performing. When I write, I like to keep it open… The other guys in the band are phenomenal musicians. It’s all about us having fun. The most important thing for the audience and us is having a good time.”
On his website, Matt said that he first fell in love with music in junior high school when he became a fan of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. The profile says that Matt spent much of his time trying to recreate Jackson’s dance moves. The piece mentions that Matt was an All-American swimmer and water polo player.