Coach Nikki Fargas exudes optimism and leadership with every breath she takes. She impacts the players on her team for a lifetime, yet she considers her greatest legacy to be the one she is forming with her family. Her never quit mentality contributes to victories on the court and a life full of love and joy in her home. She combines her coaching world and family world together as much as she can because she is committed to both. Baton Rouge is lucky to have such a leader in our midst.
How did you meet your husband?
N: At a Monday night mixer in Los Angeles. We have a mutual friend who would host mixers for Monday Night Football. I remember he was wearing a periwinkle cashmere sweater, and I knew he was a secure and confident man!
Tell me about your daughter!
N: She has both of our personalities: my ready to go, go, go and the calmness and patience of my husband. She is very into drawing and arts and crafts. She loves to laugh and has a great sense of humor and a toughness about her.
Three things you always have with you?
N: Baby wipes, whistle, and my cellphone.
Three words to describe yourself?
N: Compassionate, loyal, and disciplined.
First thing you notice about people you meet?
N: I’d probably say their smile. When people are smiling, they seem more approachable and have good vibes.
Most recent proud parenting moment?
N: She’s reading and I’m proud to see her work through a word when she’s struggling and then she figures it out. Her problem solving and independence are coming through.
Last mom fail?
N: We got the invitation to a friend’s birthday party, and I put it in my calendar on my phone. I put the date on a Saturday, and it was on a Friday, so we missed it.
How do you keep it all balanced?
N: Organization helps, but I have to stay in the moment. When Justice gets up in the morning, I’m Mom, I’m making breakfast, getting her dressed, doing her lunch, doing her hair. When I’m in the presence of my players or the presence of my family, it’s all about them. I don’t try to separate the two. I try to intertwine and mesh being a mom and wife and a coach with each other. It’s all part of me.
Greatest thing about being a mom?
N: That every day I get to wake up and see an angel. She’s adapted really well to being a coach’s daughter.
What’s something parents shouldn’t feel guilty about?
N: I try not to feel guilty about not having more time because I’m trying to make a better life. I want her to know that being a head coach and having all of these responsibilities is for her but also so I can be a mentor for these ladies who don’t have their mommies with them at college.
What good habit do you have that you would like to pass on to your daughter?
N: I have a love for people. I genuinely believe that it’s all about the people you surround yourself with.
Hardest thing about being a mom?
N: In my profession, the time part. Making sure I’m giving her the adequate time that she needs. It’s hard when I leave the family to go on the road, especially when it’s a few days.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
N: I actually own a Harley, and one of my favorite pastimes is to get on my bike and tour around. I have a foundation that raises money and awareness for breast cancer, and my friend, Holly Warlick, and I have ridden our motorcycles all over the country for our foundation.
How did you react when you found out you were going to be a mom?
N: My reaction was a little bit of everything. I was scared and excited. I was a late mom. I had Justice when I was 39. It’s truly a blessing because the older you get, the more difficulties you face. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity because with this job you’re always on the grind, and sometimes you don’t take a step back and think about a family.
What’s your parenting style?
N: Open. We want her to make her own decisions and own choices. We also want to have open communication, so that she knows she has a voice, but she has to be respectful when she uses it.
What’s one piece of advice you often give your daughter?
N: She’s beautiful from the inside out. For girls especially, it’s important that she gains that self esteem so that she doesn’t have to hear it from somebody else.
How has parenthood changed you?
N: It has made me a little bit more soft. I’m more sensitive. I also coach differently. I look at my players more like someone’s daughter.
What’s your favorite time of day?
N: Mornings and the time that we can have when she’s getting ready for school. She loves pancakes every morning.
What advice would you give to other parents?
N: Parents have to understand the difference between being a parent and being a friend. Monitor your kids activities. With the climate of social media, be very educated on what that looks like in your children’s lives.
How does your role at LSU impact our community?
N: Our role is forever evolving. When we were hit with a crisis and there was flooding, our team assisted with working on houses. We as the LSU family should impact our community that way. I want to make sure that the young kids see our players in a positive light.
What are your dreams for your daughter?
N: My dream for her is to have a life that was better than mine. I want as much as I was given and more for her when it comes to family and friends to support and resources. Whatever she dreams, I hope that she will go after it with great integrity and a work ethic that she knows that everything is earned and never given. Along the way she will stop and take in what’s important. ■
I like my coffee… one cream and two sugars.
Favorite movie growing up… Grease.
Favorite children’s book… Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.
I can’t stop listening to…Kidz Bop channel, Christmas gospel, and Whitney Houston.
My guilty pleasure is… online shopping.
Growing up, I knew I wanted to… make a difference.