The prolonged Football Championship Subdivision playoffs have put some joy into some trying times for Bryan Stinespring, the assistant head coach for Delaware, which visits South Dakota State with hopes of moving on to the FCS title game.
Stinespring is in his first year at Delaware after coaching stints at Virginia Tech, James Madison and Old Dominion, where the hiring of new head coaches and staffs left him looking for a job.
He landed at Delaware, whose head coach, Danny Rocco, had been an assistant at Virginia when Stinespring was at Virginia Tech. While Stinespring coached offense and Rocco coached defense, they were also recruiting rivals.
There were some coaches on Rocco's staff whom Stinespring knew, including former Virginia Tech player Chris Cosh, who put in a good word in Stinespring's behalf.
Stinespring was gone for the next seven months due to COVID-19 but it also gave him the opportunity to return to Clifton Forge and spend time with his mother, who had Alzheimer's and eventually passed away.
"My brother and I took care of my mother and allowed her to stay at home, mostly because of my brother's efforts," he said. "We were able to do some things that, in another year, I wouldn't have been able to do. So, I'm actually thankful for that part of it.
"We were looking for silver linings a little bit and that, for me personally, was one. It's truly a devastating disease for everyone really."