Herm Edwards returns to coaching tonight… sort of. He will be featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” leading a group of celebrities and local football players that are helping on the final makeover of the season. Kelley Carter spoke with Edwards about the very special project.
In the episode, the team heads to Pine Mountain Valley, Ga., to make over the lives of Jeremy and Jennifer Williams, whose son Jacob was diagnosed with spina bifida before he was born. The family’s story became more complicated several years after Jacob’s birth, when Jeremy, a local high school football coach, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Their house is crumbling and too small to accommodate the two disabled family members.
“When you read the story of the Williams family and especially [Jeremy's] story, he’s done a tremendous job not only as a football coach, but as an inspirational leader for that community,” Edwards said. “All coaches feel like they’re role models and he’s done [a lot] for players that have played for him in that community. In life, we get a little down … but this guy has never backed off from using his ability to not only coach, but to mold young people and not give them an excuse for failure. He’s proven that he’s not only a good coach but a great role model.”
In addition to Edwards, ABC brought in Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher and the Tuohy family (their story was featured in the book and motion picture “The Blind Side”), Mark Schlereth, Mark May and Desmond Howard to pitch in and help out.
“It made me look at life for what it is,” Edwards said. “Our life is not a dress rehearsal. You have to live every day and get something out of it. Don’t make any excuses. I’ve always felt that way, but when you go there and you look at that community and the house that he lived in for the last 13 years, you walk in there and you go, ‘Wow.’ You think about what this guy is trying to do for the community. It makes you stop and think, ‘I get this. I see this.’ So when some adversity hits, don’t fold up your tent. Coach Williams has never done that. That’s not his motto at all.”
Great job by Edwards (as well as the rest of the crew) to lend their support to the Williams family. There are plenty of things that have been said about his head coaching ability, but there’s nothing not to like about his off-the-field activities.
Well done, Herm.