SPOKANE, Wash. -- Bryan Braman was a star athlete at Shadle High School, and soon he will wrap up his fourth year playing for the Philadelphia Eagles out of seven total seasons in the NFL.
Behind every success story is strong support system that got you there. One of those influences for Bryan Braman was Ivan Corley. At the time, Corley was the head coach of Shadle High School's track and field team.
"I saw a kid with a lot of I call it raw talent," Corley said. "When you talk about a kid that can run and jump and rebound--this kid if he keeps working at it, he's got potential."
Growing up, Braman and his family moved around a lot without a father in the picture. Knowing this, and Braman's potential to become a great athlete, Corley took Braman under his wing.
"I, too, grew up without having a father, and I know Bryan shared that," Corley said. "He was definitely a kid who was looking for adults who believed in him. And not just by telling him how great he was or could be, but showing him what it would take to get there."
Braman became a star athlete on Shadle High School's football team, and won several regional track and field titles.
His talent on the field land him at University of Idaho, but only lasted two semesters and eventually returned home to Spokane.
"I didn't know he was back in town." Corley said. "And I asked him 'Bryan why didn't you come find me?' He said, 'You're more than a coach, you're like a dad, and I didn't want to disappoint you.'"
With the help of friends and family, he got back on the football field, from a junior college to West Texas A&M, where his career took off. Which opened up an opportunity with the Texans as an undrafted free agent.
"He called me that summer on his way to the OTAs or whatever and I'm like what? He says, I signed a three year contract and I said what?!" Corley said.
Braman made it, and Corley could not have been happier.
"I was just so happy to hear he was about to network with some forgiving and caring, nurturing coaches," Corley said.
Braman came back home to share his story with students at Grant Elementary school where Corley is now principal.
The two still stay in touch throughout the year, and Corley said he's as much a fan of Braman as he is the Eagles.
"It's just validating, it's rewarding but most importantly for him and his family, Corley said. "I feel so fortunate and blessed to be a part of Bryan's story and journey and just to see it come to fruition--full circle. It just reminds me of the why for the work that I do. I've been fortunate to be sitting in this chair and still hopefully having a positive impact on kids."