PECATONICA, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Coaches know with their busy schedules how hard it can be to find time to spend with their own children. One local coach has found a way to make that work for himself and for one of his children.

Tim Bukoski is currently the varsity girls head basketball coach at Pecatonica. During his 22-year coaching career he’s also coached teams at Byron, Stillman Valley, Hononegah, Belvidere, and Forreston. Most of the time right there at his side has been his daughter Paige keeping stats. She knew at a young age she wanted to be more involved at her dad’s games than simply sitting in the stands.

“She did bug me about doing something on the bench,” said Tim Bukoski. “She didn’t like just sitting there. She wanted to do something. When you’re six years old what are you going to do? I said, ‘Okay, if you want to keep stats you’ve got to make a resume, and I’ve got to have you give me and interview.”

Paige recalled that moment vividly. “So I gave him a loose-left piece of paper with whatever I thought a resume included when I was five.”

She was hired. Her first job keeping stats was keeping track of shots made. It’s hard to image a five or six year old maintaining her focus on the games long enough to keep accurate stats, but she did it.

“I remember my dad telling me when I did it the first time he double-checked to make sure it was actually right, and he said it was right-on, so I guess after the first couple of games he just stopped doing it himself.”

Each year Paige added more stats to keep…rebounds, assists, turnovers. By seventh grade, Paige was keeping pretty much all the stats.

“The first couple games I had to look back at the stats and, is this right going on?,” said Tim. “I went back and was like, these are dead on. I have a sixth or seventh grader doing full stats next to me at the game, still paying attention. Still giving high-fives. She just had a knack for that.”

“Math is definitely my strong suit,” says Paige.

Some of the best learning moments for Paige came on the car rides home from games with her dad.

“She heard me complain about lots of different things,” said Tim. “She talked about different things and a lot of teachable moments going through there, and she just absorbed it like a sponge.

Paige played basketball at Byron until she graduated last year. She’s technically a team assistant for Pecatonica. She does have other responsibilities besides keeping stats.

“She comes in and runs drills,” said Tim. “She scrimmages once in a while with us. She gives me advice on the bench. She watches film and talks about what we need to do.”

“I do a lot of one-one one with the girls,” said Paige. “Elana Rager, I’m with her a lot helping her. She’s a freshman stepping into varsity as a freshman is really hard to, I give her a lot of pointers.”

Tim says his daughter also brings a different perspective and a different voice to the bench.

“I look to her upon for advice, because I am a male in a female dominated world in terms of that, my communication skills with people are a little bit different. I’m a little harsher when things come out, but I say the things that I want to say that come out a little harsher, and she’s there to help me bring it back in, communicate to the girls what I’m trying to say to help me be a better coach and help them out much better too.”

It has been a joy for Paige and Tim to share in these basketball moments together.

“Being a coach you spend a lot of time away from your family,” said Tim. “I had a son that was older, and I missed out on a lot of his activities.”

“There’s been so many games and so many specific times in games that we’ve had such good memories,” said Paige. “There’s stuff I’ll remember forever. I still remember sitting on the bench when I was six and stuff he would say to me. It’s something special that a lot of teenagers or girls can’t do with their dad as a coach.”

NOTE: Paige is going to college right now studying to become a nurse, but she hopes to still be able to be active in coaching in the future. She also currently coaches a youth basketball team.