He may not be able to thumb through play books, or run any drills but you can bet that when JV football coach Brian Weber returns to Gates-Chili’s gridiron this upcoming season, he will still have a major impact on his players.
Weber, who is 28, was paralyzed in July in a swimming accident. In a 13WHAM interview I learned his progress in the physical therapy is amazing everyone. Weber’s physical and mental stamina of his football playing days are being put to a new use. Weber is slowly regaining some movement and feeling in his chest and upper arms.
Friends and family told me Weber’s optimistic, “can do” attitude inspires them every day. The following email I received from a parent of one of Weber’s players demonstrates just what Coach Weber means to his young players.
“I cannot tell you how much my son and he team mates love this man. The Monday after the accident, my son came home very upset telling me what happened to his beloved couch Weber. He said, 'Mom, you have to take me and my friend to the hospital to see him'. The other boys had been there on and off all day visiting him. When we got there, he was in ICU and didn't think they'd let the kids in, but they did. I had never met Brian before, so it was very uncomfortable for me to meet him for the first time under those circumstances. We walked in and I saw this beautiful, strong young man immobilized in the bed. What came next I could not believe, he was encouraging the KIDS to not worry about him and to keep giving it their all on the field! I was so impressed by his strength. It was like he was more concerned about the kids being scared than what he was going through.
When my son starts to whine about teenager "stuff", I remind him about Brian. They still love him, and I am so glad to hear that he will be returning to coaching this year. I saw him at a couple of home varsity games last season with his family. They really are an inspiration!”
In a world where the idolization of athletes is often misplaced, this is right on. Go, Coach Weber!