Steve Kerr has won two NBA Championship titles as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, and is currently pushing for a third, as the Warriors are facing the Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals. Kerr is renowned for his competitive coaching style, and is the fastest coach to get to 250 wins in league history, according to ESPN.
Kerr, 52, is married to Margot Kerr. They have been married since 1990, and they currently reside in California. Speaking with NBA.com in 2016, Margot reflected on the good fortune and success that she and her husband have had: “I can’t even believe all this. I don’t even know how all this happened; I really don’t. I have no idea. It is a lot of luck, but he’s really a smart guy.”
Here’s what you need to know about Margot Kerr and her marriage:
1. She Met Steve On A Blind Date In College
Margot and Steve first met in 1985, when they were both sophomores at the University of Arizona. They were set up on a blind date by Bruce Frasier, a teammate of Steve’s on the U of A basketball team.“I think he thought, ‘These two are nerdy, they’ll get along,’” Margot told the SF Gate. Both of them had parents who were academics, with Margot’s mother, Karen Brennan, being a poet and professor, and Kerr’s father, Malcolm H. Kerr, being an author and an international expert in Middle Eastern politics. The elder Kerr was assassinated by Islamic radicals in Lebanon in 1984.
Margot graduated a year before Steve, because of his basketball redshirt the year before his senior season, and moved to Los Angeles to get a job, but they stayed together, and eventually moved to Cleveland when Steve was traded to the Cavaliers. They got married on September 15th, 1990, according to Article Bio.
2. She Had To Move Around A Lot To Support Steve’s Career
After Kerr graduated from the University of Arizona, he struggled to land a permanent spot on an NBA team. He moved around from Phoenix to Cleveland to Orlando, and Margot accompanied him each time. “As a family, it was like if he could do it, do it,” she told ESPN.com. “It’s not like he had a career path laid out; wasn’t like he was going to law school or something. Honestly, he probably would have gone back to the U of A.”
Margot also revealed that her husband doubted whether he was going to have much of a career in basketball. “He didn’t think he was going to play that long”, she said, “He had done a year of grad school, he was going back in the summer. He was doing a sports administration program. He was taking summer classes and thinking of going back to grad school and being an assistant coach with Lute (Olson) or grad assistant.”
Things turned around when Kerr landed a spot on the Chicago Bulls during the 1992-93 season. “We were so excited to play with Michael Jordan, a championship team and we get there and Michael retires,” Margot said jokingly. “Then he was like, ‘Hey, maybe I can get a roster spot.’” Kerr’s instincts proved correct, as he stayed with the Bulls until 1998, and won three Championship titles in the process. He also won the 3-Point Shootout at the 1997 All-Star Game.
Kerr relocated to Texas when he was acquired by the San Antonio Spurs in 1999, but by then, Margot had grown accustomed to being on the move. “We had a little nest egg and bought a little house in Tucson. We were happy with that,” she explained. “I don’t think we thought there was anything else. Then last year the championship, [we] can’t believe that. It’s all so weird.”
Margot was also very close with Erin Popovich, the late wife of Steve’s coaching mentor, Gregg Popovich. In a statement released after her death, Steve wrote that “Margot and Erin were very close and stayed in touch over the years. She was part of the family.”
3. Her Sister Rachel Suffered Amnesia After An Accident In 1995
Margot’s sister Rachel Brennan was involved in a motorcycle accident in August 1995. A report by The Los Angeles Times states she was not wearing a helmet at the time, and suffered severe brain damage as a result. She was subsequently diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, something her mother Karen believed she could overcome with enough practice. “I’d give her little writing assignments, try to get her to think of narratives,” Brennan told The LA Times, “maybe narrative generates memory instead of vice versa.”
Eventually, Rachel’s memory did improved. “As Rachel’s narrative sense gets better, her memory gets better”, her mother revealed, “People are always astounded [to see] a person with brain injury who is eloquent and very funny. She did a [bookstore] reading with me the other night, and she was terrific. Years ago she would have gotten confused halfway through. She’s much more sequential now.”
Among the family members who supported Rachel during her time in the hospital were her brothers Chris and Geoff Brennan, and Margot, who was regularly accompanied by Steve. On Thanksgiving night 1995, Steve sent a special message to his sister-in-law when he took the court against the Utah Jazz. According to Tucson.com, the announcer said: “Steve asks us to send his love and best wishes to his sister-in-law, Rachel Brennan, who is recovering from a motorcycle accident at the University of Utah hospital.”
Karen Brennan eventually published a memoir of her experiences in 2002 titled Being with Rachel: A Personal Story of Memory and Survival. In it, she praised Steve’s tenderness. “If I had to order a son-in-law from heaven, it would be Steve”, she wrote, “He’s funny, smart, a terrific father and husband, as well as sensitive and perceptive.”
4. She And Steve Have Three Children Together
Margot and Steve have three children together: Nick, Matthew, and Maddy. They told the SF Gate that they made a point to teaching them the value of hard work at a young age. “[Steve] doesn’t like the attitude stuff. He gets upset with bad body language”, Margot said, “The kids were never allowed to complain about a coach, or quit a team. They just had to figure it out and work through it, that’s sort of a family rule. And Steve and I have never called a coach. Ever. Or a teacher, for that matter.” She admitted that she and Steve are “actually not the nicest parents– tough love.”
Nick Kerr, the oldest, has followed in his father’s footsteps, as he was a coaching intern at Cal and is currently a first-year member of the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff. “I kind of always thought about it growing up”, Nick told The Mercury News, “Then I guess really in college is when I decided one, I wasn’t good enough to keep playing after college, but two, that it’s really fun to stay around the game and influence other players, try to get them better as well as the fun part of being part of a team and trying to win.”
Madeleine Kerr, or Maddy, play volleyball at Cal, where she made the All-Pac-12 freshman first team in 2013. In an interview with Maddy said that she took more after Margot than she did her dad. “She’s a big personality, she’s actually really competitive,” she said, “My dad’s competitive at sports but my mom– who was never an athlete– is super competitive in life. Like if we’re playing a card game she wants to win and she’s a lot more vocal about it than my dad is.”
Matthew Kerr, the youngest, prefers reading and writing to sports. “He’s a very great writer, very artistic,” Nick said in 2015. “He writes screenplays. He’s real smart, way smarter than the rest of us.”
5. She Regularly Engages With Warriors Fans On Social Media
Margot enjoys the exposure that Steve gets being the coach of the Warriors. The couple often interact with fans and are playful with one another in public. In 2017, the Warriors honored Steve as a former player and coach, and photos of him wearing a retro-style suit were posted online. When one of them made their way on Twitter, Margot commented by saying “can’t wait to hit that later.” The response went viral, with many fans calling it “the tweet of the night”. Check it out above.
The couple also participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014. They got cold water doused on them and uploaded the video to YouTube, where they nominated U of A basketball coach Sean Miller, family friend Geoff Yang, and their son Nick Kerr to do the same.
In 2017, Steve and Margot donated a whopping $1 million to the U of A athletics department. “My experience as a student-athlete at the U of A shaped my life and my entire career,” Steve told UA News. “I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity I was given to be a part of such a special University.” Sean Miller released a statement, thanking the couple, saying “I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Steve and Margot for their incredible generosity and continued support of our program.