Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dana Bible's return inspires N.C. State

The most significant returning starter for N.C. State is Dana Bible, the offensive coordinator whose life changed Nov. 20, when he checked into the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center the day before State’s game at Virginia Tech.

Bible had the full-throttle work ethic of many football coaches, overlooking any aches and pains. But he knew something was wrong, and he went to see coach Tom O’Brien the Friday morning before the game at Tech. “From the time he walked into my office at 11 am until when we headed to Blacksburg, he looked terrible,” O’Brien said.

Bible had acute promyelocytic leukemia, and needed treatment immediately. At one point in the treatment, O’Brien said, “We almost lost him. But he made it through it and he made it through this whole thing.”

Bible is eager to be back in his familiar role, but O’Brien is approaching this with caution. As O’Brien quoted Bible as saying, “I’m not like you. I don’t have an immune system.”

For one, O’Brien wants to make sure he has a backup plan in case Bible isn’t available to call plays. O’Brien did it last year once Bible was gone, including the 28-27 win over UNC, but wasn’t thrilled with his effort.

“I made some bone-headed calls against Carolina and Russell [Wilson] made some great plays and made me look good,” O’Brien said.

So the plan, for now, is to have Bible as engaged as possible, but lighten his load and make sure others can back up as needed.

“We’re going to piece things out,” O’Brien said. “[Bible] has got to give up some of it, the game planning and scripting of plays.”

But the fact that Bible is back is, well, amazing. And you can bet his Wolfpack players are inspired to see him back.

“What I took from it,” receiver Owen Spencer said, “is if you love something, you won’t ever stop loving it.”

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