FOX 47 - Top Stories
DENVER- For every NFL coach, the Super Bowl is the ultimate prize. For Madison native--and Denver Broncos Running Backs coach--Eric Studesville, that game came Sunday against the Seahawks. But before he taught pros their x's and o's, Studesville was just like any other kid.
"I was raised on the south side," said Studesville. "I learned to play football in Penn Park. My parents weren't really into athletics. That was always my interest. They were incredibly supportive of anything I did."
That support took Studesville from the south side to Verona, then Whitewater, before a fork in the road took Studesville to the desert.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do after school," Studesville said. "I was working at a sports medicine clinic on University Ave. I decided to go to grad school and chose Arizona State."
That's where Studesville's love of coaching began. From there, Studesville took three stops on the winding road of college football before a trip to the Windy City changed everything.
Studesville said, "I got hired by Dave Wannstedt for the NFL's minority internship, got hired the next year, and 17 years and a lot of tape study later we're standing right here."
Now Studesville and his Broncos stand at the doorstep of pro football's mecca.
"We set out a goal not knowing if we'd get there, but knowing if we'd work hard we'd have a chance."
While football season has been great, it hasn't come without hardship. This summer, Eric lost both of his parents in a motorcycle accident.
"Both my parents wanted this experience for me so bad.l They know how important it is and how hard I've worked for it. I wanted them to be here to share it and that's the hardest part for me."
Their passing was an up hill battle for Eric and the community they left behind.
"In my mind, the tragedy is for the Madison community. They lost two unbelievable people who loved that community, gave freely to that community, and were a part of that community. It's a loss."
Now, miles away from his south side days, Studesville is living his boyhood dream. And while his parents won't be in the seats at Met Life Stadium, he'll have plenty of support at kickoff.
"My wife and kids will be there, so I'll have support there physically, as well as looking over from above," said Studesville.
And as his parents look down on their son with pride, Eric can hear their words of encouragement.
"My parents would say 'Hey, you did good getting here, but let's finish this thing. We got this far, so don't let up now.' So I'm not. We're staying focused on finishing and the whole process. I think that's what would make them most proud of all, if we did that."
Sunday, February 2 2014, 11:10 PM CST
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