Jerry always has been protective of the men in her life. She called up the basketball office one day, wanting the phone number of a certain broadcaster who she deemed too harsh on her son. When an opposing coach exchanged words with her other son after a tournament title game, Jerry found the coach's hotel, called his room and in no uncertain terms left a message that told the coach to watch his mouth around her boy. "She's the best,” said the oldest son. "She has been the backbone of our family since we were born.” Jerry's dad was a coach, so she knew what she was in for when she married a coach. A juggling act between her husband's and boys' schedules, and deciding whether to hold her tongue when the knuckleheads in the crowd critiqued the coaching, and often raising two really active boys alone when her husband was on the road. "She's always been the one that's been there all the time with us,” said Jerry's oldest son. A common sight a few years ago: Jerry sitting in the stands of her younger son's high school game, flipping back and forth between radio stations broadcasting her husband's and other son's games. Along the way, Jerry became the shoulder to lean on or cry on. The boys knew their dad would deliver cold, hard truth. "Mom is the one we call when we can't get sympathy from Dad,” said the oldest boy. "There's nothing like a mother's voice. Hear her soothing voice or go home and be around her.” The oldest boy figures he's a lot like Jerry. He's reserved like his dad but sensitive like his mom. "My dad and my brother are really not sensitive to anything,” he said. "She has the best heart of any person. Always trying to help people.” When a high school teammate of her oldest boy needed a place to stay, Jerry opened her home. A couple of years later, after her sister died, she did the same for her nephew. "That's just how she is,” said her son. "Really big heart. She cares about people. She really cares about people.” Big heart, but big passion, too. Be good to the men in her life, and Jerry is your friend. Get on the wrong side of Jerry's men, and watch out, as that coach found out and the broadcaster would have had she found that phone number. "Anyone she feels like is nice to me or my dad or my brother, she thinks they're the best people,” said the oldest son. "If they're nice to me, she loves 'em forever.” Jerry herself has coached, high school volleyball, and now is an assistant principal, which helps keep her occupied now that her boys are scattered and her husband coaches in another city. But she keeps up with what people are saying about her men, so watch out. "I've been blessed,” said Jerry's oldest son. "My parents, they're the best. I can't imagine being raised by anyone else. "My brother and I, we like to hang out with my mom and dad. I'm so grateful for how they raised us. They helped make me into the person I am. I wouldn't trade 'em for anything.” So on this fine Sunday morning, let's salute the woman who stands by her men, husband Jeff and sons Jeff and Jason. Happy Mother's Day to Jerry Capel.