By John Fennelly
New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher was not at the team’s facility on Sunday for their training camp practice. Head coach Pat Shurmur revealed that Bettcher was in Indiana after attending services for his mother, who passed away last week.
Bettcher, who is from Lakeville, Indiana, began his coaching career at Saint Francis, his alma mater, in Fort Wayne in 2004 as special teams coordinator and defensive line coach. He made several stops along the collegiate coaching trail before making the jump to the NFL ranks with the Indianapolis Colts as a linebackers coach. He eventually became the defensive coordinator in Arizona before the Giants hired him earlier this year to run their defense.
Bettcher’s father, Denny, passed away in his senior year in college. His parents were among some of the more supportive parents on the team. The folks at Saint Francis named an award after him. The Denny Award is now given out to the most dedicated parents each year.
“I’ve been really lucky to have parents who were hard working; both worked multiple jobs,” Bettcher said. “They followed me everywhere. It was a hard time when my father passed...