Franklin College football’s inspirational coach, GM the heart of Grizzlies’ program

The heart of the Franklin football program beats from the spirited sidelines with coach Emry Himes.

“Every time he is around, it just heightens the mood of our guys,” Franklin College head football coach Mike Leonard said. “They love hanging out with him they love high fiving him, he just brings our guys up."

"The biggest thing we love about him is his heart, the one thing he really does have for this team is love and that love, we all feel it,” senior offensive lineman Austin Woiteshek explained.

Emry, who has Down syndrome, recently completed the INSPIRE program at Franklin. Coach Leonard met Emry at the INSPIRE graduation in May and quickly added him on staff.

“I go to the games and practices so that they work hard,” Emry said of his coaching duties.

“We just hit it off, and I knew he liked football and I said, ‘If you'd like to be a coach on our staff we would love to have you out,’ and it really progressed further than being a coach,” Coach Leonard said.

Seeing Emry’s immediate impact, Coach Leonard wasted no time in a promotion.

“I said, ‘Emry, you're not really a coach,’ and he looked at me kind of funny and I said, ‘You're the GM.’ He waited for a second, looked at me and said, ‘GM, great man," Coach Leonard said with a smile.

Emry brings that infectious positivity to the sidelines both in practice and in games, offering encouragement when the team needs it most.

"We had a drive where it was three and out and Emry came up to us and said, 'Hey man, you're doing fine, you're doing great,” Austin explained. “I looked at Emry and said ‘Emry, I need to do this for you, man,’ and we all got together and scored a touchdown on the next play.”

“Everything in my life is so good,” Emry said with a smile. “This life, this team is what I imagined.”