Father and son duo Matthew and Chase Driscoll have rocked the court of the UNF Arena together for three years.
Matthew Driscoll, the head coach of the men’s basketball team, started in 2009. Chase Driscoll joined the team as a walk-on for the 2014-15 season. While the two have a bond like no other, it was not an easy choice for Chase to come play for his father.
The Driscoll family was constantly moving around as father, Matthew, coached across the nation. With the demanding coaching job, the coach was constantly on the road, traveling with the teams from game to game.
Growing up around basketball, Chase didn’t hesitate to give the sport a try. As time went on, he grew as a basketball player and had high hopes of playing in college.
Coach Driscoll hoped that Chase would be able to play for Chase’s godfather Scott Lang at La Roche College, but that dream never came to be. When Chase was just 16, his godfather died on the court due to heart failure. This wouldn’t be the only set back Chase Driscoll had to face. Four years ago, Chase Driscoll was struck by a car and his life as a basketball player completely changed.
“It was devastating in a lot of different ways, especially when your child is injured like that,” said Coach Driscoll. “It had completely changed everything he had worked for from a basketball standpoint. It set him back two or four years.”
After two surgeries on Chase’s left elbow — his shooting arm — he was unable to move his arm for some time. Driscoll saw his son’s traumatic experience and the father and son had a very important conversation Chase’s junior and senior year.
Coach Driscoll proposed the idea to Chase that he could be a walk-on for UNF’s men’s basketball team and Chase accepted. As a walk-on, Chase would not be recruited. Instead, he would have to tryout for the team.
“Chase is on the team because he is my son, but he also is on the team because we feel like he contributes to the team in a lot of different ways,” said Coach Driscoll.
When it comes to basketball, Chase does not refer to his father as “dad.” Instead he calls him “coach” just like any other player.
“[Being coached by my dad is] different from being coached by a normal coach in the past. He’s been treating me like a player,” said Chase.
According to Coach Driscoll, having Chase on the team created some backlash.
While some people have mixed emotions about Chase Driscoll being on the team, his teammates have been supportive. From senior Dallas Moore’s excitement when he sees Chase Driscoll shoot to hanging out with his teammates beyond the arena.
Chase has built relationships with his teammates on and off the court.
“They view him for who he is and not where he comes from,” Coach Driscoll said.
Although the father-son duo has spent a lot of time together, there’s still one thing the two don’t see eye-to-eye on.
Chase Driscoll already has his entire body mapped out of what tattoos he wants, but he has to wait until he moves out to get them.
But if he could get one right now, what would he get?
“[I would get] either my godparents — I want two angels on my chest for them — or the 3D Jesus tattoo,” Chase Driscoll said.
Chase Driscoll will be entering his senior year next year with the Ospreys, and his father is grateful for every moment.
“I feel very fortunate because the other guys don’t get to see their parents like I get to see my son,” Coach Driscoll said.
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