As the Lebanon Athletic Director, Will Christian is supposed to have all the answers.
“When I first got this job I liked working with coaches. Mentoring them to help them be successful,” Christian said.
Christian knows a thing or two about success from his 14 years as the head football coach at Lebanon – his Yellow Jackets coming off back to back district championships. But at the beginning of the 2018 season, he had no idea the biggest tackle would come off the field.
“First found it in late October,” said Christian.
An uncomfortable feeling in his neck, later became a painful reality. January, he was diagnosed with Stage Two P16 throat cancer.
“It broke me and humbled me to a point that I’ve never been in my life,” Christian said. “You’re thinking of finality, and I’m 43 years old, I’ve got three kids, two of them are younger, and is this it? So, that was challenging.”
The coach went into default mode, drawing up a game plan. The first step was removing lymph nodes, then came chemotherapy and radiation.
“All of us coaches tell our kids at two-a-days, suck it up and get it done and don’t feel sorry for yourself,” said Christian. “As a football coach, and I think as people, and as a man we think, I’m tough. I’m not near as tough as I thought I was.”
Coach realized that a single player wasn’t going to be enough to beat this opponent. He needed a whole team. As it turned out, he had a massive one.
“Without any question, the rock was my faith and the support,” said Christian. “I can’t in this interview say enough how important and thankful I am for all the people.”
And on May 1st, Will Christian rang the bell at Mercy hospital — treatment is over.
“I mean, normalcy is what I’m craving the most,” said Christian. “I’m just ready, ready to move forward.”
Walking away with the biggest win in the record book.