SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (KBTX) - As a coach's kid, it didn't take long for Brian Gamble to fall in love with football.
"Growing up, I idolized the players on my dad's teams. I was the ball boy. I kept stats," said Gamble.
Gamble played for Texas A&M from 1998 to 2002, which means he clearly remembers one of the most tragic days in A&M history.
Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured when bonfire collapsed.
"You grew up a lot that day. You are a 19, 20, 18-year-old kid, whatever the case may be. To go out there and be moving those logs off, then all of a sudden and people start to go down and take a knee, and it's because they found another body underneath there. Seeing them zip them up in a body bag. It was just surreal," explained Gamble.
Days later, Brian's team took on the rival Texas Longhorns.
"We get there for the 10:30 a.m. kick and play the first half and had some things not go our way and it's 16-6. I don't know that there was ever panic. We just kind of knew that we were going to find a way to get the job done," said Gamble.
With thirty seconds left to play, Texas A&M led 20 to 16 when Jay Brooks caused Major Applewhite to fumble. Gamble was there to recover it, and that became one of the most memorable wins in the school's history.
"Looking up in the sky and raising your hands- that's just thank you. Thank you that we made it through. Thank you that this game is going to help a lot of people to help them move past and to get over what happened," said Gamble.
That fumble recovery is what he's known for, but Gamble accomplished much more on the field. He played 46 consecutive games and still holds defensive records at A&M.
With passion for the game, it may not come as a surprise that he's now in the coaching business.
Gamble has been on staff at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio since the start of their football program in 2008, and has been the defensive coordinator since 2012.
"I take a lot of pride in the fact that I've been here from the start. I've got some ownership in this program and to see how far its come from that first year to where we are now, a division one FCS school," said Gamble.
Coaching at the highest level is a dream of Gamble's, but the balance between football and family is something he values.
"I've got a five year old boy named Bossley and a two year old little girl named Madeline and they are a handful. As important as football is, it's still just a game, and having that ability to spend time with your family and have a life outside of football is very important," explained Gamble.