Winning football games requires tenacity and a well thought out, strategic, game plan. But just like your opponent can rock you with a surprise move, so can life --- and it's up to you how you react.
On this Thanksgiving we're going in the zone and sharing the story of one Aggie Coach who inspires his players to transform setbacks into comebacks.
Charles McMillian is Texas A&M's secondary defensive backs coach. He's also homegrown, right here in Bryan-College Station.
Now, McMillian works closely with about 17 guys on the Aggie defense. It's a group he has a unique bond with, since he works with them on a daily basis, kind of like a big brother.
"I always tell them 99.9% of the time I'm going to tell you the truth and that 1% that I can't tell you is because I'm told not to tell you, or I don't think it's necessary," explains McMillian.
Any of his veterans will tell you McMillian is tough, tenacious and resilient.
"If you know anything about me, you know there was some tragedy back in my sophomore year in high school, to where I kind of lost some of my family," says McMillian. His father is no longer living.
"Family is very important and I want people to understand that because without family you can't survive."
McMillian says he's thankful for his wife and three children, plus his football family--especially after a routine trip to the bathroom one morning, made him realize something was wrong.
"I had complications to where there was blood in my urine and it just wasn't normal," shares McMillian.
A CAT scan revealed he had a small tumor on his kidney.
"And so from that point, I was shocked and scared and from that point you just go on with life knowing whatever's going to happen is going to happen."
"I knew my faith and I knew that I was strong in my faith," says McMillian. "I mean it completely turned me around. If you would have watched me last year, coaching through out the season you would have thought I was crazy because I went through it like nothing was wrong."
Keeping a positive attitude is a lesson he encourages his players to use both on and off the field.
"You focus your mind because we can get down on everything, but the key thing is, you know, the good God has given you life to breath again, so therefore as long as I'm living, you know, I'm going to be happy."
He's grateful to still be around and his players are thankful he's been cancer free for over a year now.