Carolina special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven, a man with three decades of coaching experience in the NFL, sat in a doctor's office this past May and heard the words that no one ever wants to hear.
As Peter King points out in his MMQB article, at 66 years old and seemingly healthy, DeHaven was told that he had prostate cancer and likely had three to five years left to live. With that in mind as training camp approached, and with a son getting ready to head to off to his first year of college and a daughter still in high school, DeHaven had to decide whether to go back to coaching, or go home to spend time with loved ones in case his days are even more numbered than expected.
DeHaven's logic for how he came to the decision to return to the sidelines is nothing short of inspirational.
“I just figured that I am determined to beat this,” DeHaven told MMQB. “And I hope I can beat it. I hope I can outlast it."
"I’m so busy that I don’t even think of it unless someone brings it up. But I think I figured that, if I quit, 20 years from now I’d ask myself, ‘Why’d you walk away from a job you love doing so much?’”
The sad realization of that quote is that DeHaven may not have the opportunity to look back on that decision in a year, must less in 20, yet his love for coaching is what fuels him.