#AtoZChallenge: A is for A new name for this blog ๐Ÿ“›

A stormtrooper explores a kickass AirBnB in Columbia, S.C.
New name, same cool Stormtroopers.

A drunken woman led to the renaming of this blog.

Let me explain. I’d been feeling as if the Coach Daddy name didn’t fit anymore. Like, I’d cycled out of it.

I’m still a coach.

I’m still a daddy.

I’m just not … Coach Daddy.

I drove to the restaurant where Camdyn works to pick her up after her shift one night. I pulled my flashy gray Hyundai into a parking space and texted her, as I do when picking up any of my girls: I’m here little one.

(They love when I do this.)

And I waited. There were tables to wipe down, or she forgot the Coke Zero (no ice) she always gives me for picking her up. And three boisterous women approached my car.

Well, one did – the other stayed back.

Are you our Uber? she asked in that too-loud voice that often accompanies a night of Bud Light tallboys. I laughed. Nah, I’m just a dad, I said.

Are you our Uber? she asked in that too-loud voice that often accompanies a night of. Bud Light tallboys. I laughed. Nah, I’m just a dad, I said.

I explained that I was there to pick up my daughter, who works there. You can all the way out here late at night to give your daughter a ride? She asked, swaying only a little now, because this was serious.


You know when things are extra – funny, sad, anger-inducing, delicious, whatever – when we drink? Well, to her, this simple act of picking up a kid after a dinner shift felt like Dad O The Year material.

She smiled at me sweetly in that loving way that many of us do after the second margarita.

YOUR DAD IS SOOO SWEET! The lady told Camdyn as she walked to my car. Dad, those girls were SO drunk, Camdyn muttered after waving and smiling.

She’s right, you know, I told my kid. We drove off and they waved.

She has no idea she had just renamed my blog.

I am just a dad now, and that’s fine. I didn’t want to stop being my kids’ coach, but some things are out of our control. I coach a group of boys and girls who feel like my kids. But my teams always do.

As Just a Dad, I do cool shit. I drive my oldest to California … in three days … in a beat-up Subaru … with a cat in the backseat.

As Just a Dad, I’ll go to my middle daughter’s match in the middle of the week and get easily talked into Mexican food afterward. (Enchiladas = โค๏ธ)

And I can pick up my daughter at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. What else would I be doing? And if a tipsy chick wants to think that’s pretty all right, well … I’m good with that, too.



  1. Dave Roller says:

    Your blog is the last on the a to z sign up sheet (so far) so I decided to start with it. I liked your post immensely. When I went back to work full time several years ago and I was no longer the main teacher of my kids it felt funny to have a blog called Home School Dad so I went away from it for a while and finally just shortened it to HSD. So I can certainly relate to the introspection and the name change. Hope you enjoy the challenge.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I didn’t realize until I’d posted for the first time in the challenge that I wasn’t on the master list! Luckily, it was still open. As you know, as things change for us dads, a lot of things stay the same. And I’m grateful for that part!

  2. I love the new name! Times change. Things change. It’s good to evolve.

    I’ve been mulling around the idea of modifying my blog name, but I may wait a bit. Thinking about creating a podcast reading my posts out loud to give people the option of reading or listening. But because it would include posts from either of my blogs the podcast would need a new name. Creating lists of possibilities but nothing’s hitting the mark yet.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Something will land for you name-wise, Susan. I love the idea of a podcast, of putting your words into audible form. It would lend a depth to your words to hear them in your voice!

  3. Eli, I like the new name. My feeling is that you are more than โ€œjustโ€ a dad to your daughters and all of the people you care about. Youโ€™re likely now more of a different type of coach to your daughters. The listening and inquiry in conversations with them is a special gift of presence that so many people are hungry for…and you give it freely with love. I wish you well with the name change. May the inspiration keep flowing through you, my friend.

  4. susi_snaps says:

    I know the feeling well when you mull over thinking of a new name, a new space and try to figure that out. Took me forever and I still overthink about it from time to time.
    And from what Iโ€™ve read in this space Iโ€™d say you are way more then โ€œjust a dadโ€ but it certainly has a ring to it and makes for a good blog name.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I tried not to overthink it, Susi, but I knew it would change. I needed the inspiration, and who knew it would come after happy hour? Thank you for the kind words, and for understanding the reason behind “Just a Dad!”

  5. Liam says:

    Here’s to new beginnings!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Here here *raises glass*

  6. I love the story behind the change. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Sharon – and thanks for being here!

  7. Tamara says:

    The Margarita Lady is right. Picking up your kid from work (or practice, or a party) is a sweet thing to do, and not all parents do it for different reasons.
    And you’re not giving yourself enough credit by being “just a Dad”, but I understand you don’t want to name your blog “SuperDad”.
    Makes me think. Today I’m still part-time working Hockey Mom. Give it a couple years and I’ll be “just a Mom”, too.
    Yesterday I met a 93-yo man in a supermarket parking garage. He loved my car, which was parked next to one of those mobility scooters for elderly or disabled folks. “There’s a time for everything” he sighted. Made me sad.
    Carpe Diem, E!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The names can change, Tamara, and the duties shift, but who we are remains. I’m the same dude I was as Coach Daddy, with more gray hair and less first-step burst. I’d love to know what your scooting friend drove in his heyday, wouldn’t you?

      1. Tamara says:

        Actually I was considering to track him down and offer him a ride one of these days.
        Here’s what I know about him: he lives in town, alone. His wife is in the local nursing home. He’s 93. She’s 90. His doctor says he’s in great shape for his age but she can’t square with her conscience to allow him to still drive a car.

  8. beth says:

    I love those moments and how things happen in the most unexpected of ways, a clear sign it was time )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And if you don’t keep your mind open, you can miss out on them, right Beth? I love the possibility of it. Every day we wake, we could encounter something that shifts our trajectory.

  9. Like the new name Eli, and the tale of how it came to be. I like to think we’re always evolving into new iterations, and sometimes just recognizing that feels really freeing to me. So glad you’re playing in the challenge – I look forward to your posts.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you, Deborah – sometimes, those evolutions aren’t even noticeable, but they’re happening. I do like an occasional fresh start. I used to clean and rearrange my desk every month to have one!

  10. A new stage in life, a new blog name but still ‘just a dad’. I love it! Funny little anecdote too. Congratulations on the new blog, Eli.

  11. I always felt your blog title was a good one, but change is good too. I have zero input. King Daddy? Best Dad? Sugar Dad? hahaha

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you! I’m still both, just not both at the same time anymore. King Daddy would have been rad. Sugar Dad could have brought an entirely different demographic!

      1. Hey! Even us Grandmas think about Sugar Dads. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Maybe you should expand on this for the letter G or S!

  12. Kathy G says:

    Yes, things change. Good for you for going with the flow!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s so much better than fighting the current, right? I’d been meaning to make this change for a while. Needing an A to Z theme helped rush the need along!

  13. I love this story! I learned early during parenting that the only constant was change. As soon as I got “good” at the parenting thing with my kids, we were onto the next thing. In the end, it really is about being just a mom (or dad). And, getting to do cool stuff with our kids! Looking forward to the rest of your A to Z posts this challenge. Weekends In Maine

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well said, and thank you for the kind words! There is constant change, and it keeps us sharp. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  14. Eli, I love the new name and the idea that you’re entering a new phase. I went through this myself at my blog about a year ago. It’s a bit of an adjustment as I have changed topics for the most part. It’s nice to get a fresh start. Always a daddy, though.

  15. You are more than just a dad, although thatโ€™s fine if thatโ€™s how you want to see it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love being just a dad, Mimi. It means I can concentrate on it real good.

  16. Love it!! I was too late to get on the list, but I’m still doing A to Z. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Send me a link to your latest post, Janice! Thank you for the kind words. I just made the list in the nick of time!

  17. I love the new blog name; however, your involvement in your daughters’ lives will always make you far more than “just a dad.”

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re so sweet, Debbie. Thank you. Just a Dad means there’s hopefully more time to BE a dad, if only I could catch up!

  18. 1jaded1 says:

    Your new name is fitting, Eli.

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