Krista Miranda

By Krista Miranda

LifeBuzz Staff

Football Coach Searches For Biological Mother, But Ends Up Finding So Much More.

Football Coach

Sherman Smith, a football coach at Miami University in Ohio, was one of those recruiters that saw something special in Deland. Over time, Sherman grew to be extremely supportive of Deland, and eventually, the two became very close to one another. It was nice to have this bond because there was a void that Deland felt throughout his life. He often thought of his birth parents and he wondered why they gave him up.

Football Coach

ESPN / Bill Marsh / YouTube

Miami University

After having many conversations with Sherman, Deland decided that he wanted to attend Miami University and play football for their team, which was an undeniably smart move for his football career. During that time, Sherman became his support system for Deland's personal and academic issues. He told Sherman, “You may not be looking for a father, but I am going to treat you like you are my son.” Unsurprisingly, Deland played extremely well while he was in college, which meant that he was offered a deal that every single college player dreams of.

Miami University

ESPN / Bill Marsh / YouTube

Cincinnati Bengals

Deland and Sherman remained close throughout the years. Sherman couldn’t have been any prouder of the man that Deland had become. Deland landed a coveted spot in the lineup for the NFL team the Cincinnati Bengals! He put all of his passion, drive, and hard work into being the best, and he finally succeeded. But soon, something would happen that would change the course of Deland's life.

Knee Injury

On August 23, 1996, during a game, Deland received a horrible blow to his knee that tore several ligaments. The 23-year-old man was devastated. Deland tried to stay in good playing shape, but nothing could improve his knee. It seemed like his career in football was over, but it was only the beginning. It would be a few years before Deland came back to the football field.

Knee Injury

ESPN / Bill Marsh / YouTube

Family

He thought his days of football were over, so Deland moved to Columbus, Ohio and started working at a group home. It wasn't his first choice for a career, but it did put him in the path to meet the woman of his dreams, Darnell. She also worked at the group home. They feel deeply in love and got married. The couple had four children.

Family

ESPN / Bill Marsh / YouTube

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