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Broncos RB Coach Eric Studesville Reflects On Losing His Parents Too Early

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DENVER (CBS4) – As one of the Denver Broncos coaches hit the road this week for the Super Bowl, he was thinking about two special people — his parents.

Eric Studesville just completed his fifth season as the Broncos running backs coach. He’s a big reason that a guy like Knowshon Moreno is able to turn around his career. It’s Studesville’s very first Super Bowl. His is a story of victory over tragedy.

Al, Eric and Jan Studesville (credit: Eric Studesville)

Al, Eric and Jan Studesville (credit: Eric Studesville)

“All of us have thoughts that are running through our mind before the game. You know, in the gamut of emotions, each of us has their own story, our own journey,” Studesville said.

His journey began 46 years ago in Madison, Wis., the only child of Al and Jan Studesville.

Al and Jan Studesville (credit: Eric Studesville)

Al and Jan Studesville (credit: Eric Studesville)

“My dad wanted me to be a businessman, you know you go to work in a suit and do that,” he said. “When I got into coaching he wasn’t real fond of that particular decision to go this route.”

But mom and dad couldn’t be prouder as he climbed the coaching ranks all the way to the NFL, and it was after a hard day in coaching back in June during minicamp when Studesville heard a knock at his door.

“My daughter went to see who it was and she said, ‘Daddy, it’s a police officer.’ And, you know, so many things run through your head at that point in time,” Studesville said. “They asked if they could come in, and they asked, ‘Were Al and Jan Studesville your parents?’ And at that point I pretty much realized that something had happened.”

Somehow the driver of the tow truck never saw the motorcycle. Al and Jan were on that motorcycle on a lonely stretch of Texas highway on the way to the Grand Canyon. They both died at the scene.

“They’re in my mind, they’re in my heart. I look at my kids and see both of them. I still don’t look at many pictures; I have not seen a video of them moving at this point. I just can’t do that.”

They often talked about the Super Bowl and how much it would mean, how badly he wanted to share the experience and cherish the memories.

“There’s no way to even qualify that. There’s not a level or an amount. It’s infinite, it’s daily, it’s constant. They are my heroes, they’re who i am. They’re me.”

Studesville’s father had a saying – “Get it done.” No matter what he tackled in life, get it done, and here he is one step away from a Super Bowl championship, and those words resonate — get it done — get it done.

On Wednesday CBS received and email from Madison College in Madison, Wis.

“We at Madison College in Madison, Wis. are also thinking of Eric Studesville this week, as many of us worked with his dad, Al, many years,” the email said.

Faculty and staff at the college decided to create an sign a banner to show support for Studesville and to honor his parents. (Read the announcement on madisoncollege.edu)

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