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Meet The Coach
Texas Tech's Masi Inspired By Wife's Cancer Battle

Texas Tech men’s coach Brett Masi can preach all he wants to his players about strength, resilience and mental toughness. Or he can just point to his wife.

Desiree Masi was diagnosed with cervical cancer five years ago. Once she overcame that, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years later.

Texas Tech Men's Head Coach Brett Masi

The mother of two never complained, and always put everyone else’s needs above her own.

She’s been in remission for three years, but the battle remains ingrained in the family’s psyche.

“That really put into perspective what was really important in life,” Brett Masi said. “I am still very competitive, but when I coach now winning isn’t necessarily the entire focus anymore. You realize there are bigger things.”

Masi makes time for activities outside of tennis, and encourages his players to take mental breaks away from the court. He loves being around his two children - son, Jaxson, 12, and daughter, Devyn, 10 - and watching them play sports.

“You need to have that balance in your life, because if you don’t have that balance it will drive you insane and burn you out just like a kid playing too much tennis or too much of any sport,” Masi said. “Having my own kids and seeing Des go through what she did really helped me have a better balance in my life overall. I think it has made me do a better job of coaching.”

Brett and Desiree grew up near each other in Riverside, California. They lived a few houses away at one point and jogged by each other in the morning several times.

But they never met until after college when Brett was coaching at Santa Clara. He returned home for a visit and attended Desiree’s birthday party with friends. They started talking, and he realized they had taken a picture together as part of a big group during high school.

“I sent her the picture when I got home, and I’m sure she thought I was this complete creep,” Masi said with a laugh. “But that kind of started the relationship, and I eventually moved back down to take the volunteer position with Peter Smith at USC so Des and I could be closer together.”

Masi helped USC win a national title in 2009 before being named the head coach at the University of San Diego. He took over at Texas Tech in 2015 just as his wife was completing her cancer treatments.

“It some ways that brought us to Lubbock,” Masi said. “Coaching at a bigger sports school was an attraction, but so was living in the town itself. It reminded us of where we grew up, and it gave us an opportunity for our kids to live in a better family environment.”

Find out more about Masi in this month’s Meet The Coach:

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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