As far as Craig Bryden knows, he’s the only deaf private quarterback coach in the country. He’s also never played football.
“I always wanted to play football, but my parents wouldn’t let me because I was deaf,” Bryden said at a Saturday coaching session at Bloomfield High School.
Instead, he played flag football and the video game “Madden”. That was until he had a little boy of his own.
“My son told me he wanted to be a quarterback, so I started looking for quarterback coaches for him,” said Bryden.
He took his son, Daron, to different coaches and camps, all while watching and learning from the sidelines. That’s where one coach suggested Bryden might try his hand at coaching, too.
“So at first I hesitate, I wasn’t sure if I should,” said Bryden. “And I’m like, okay I give it a shot.”
Now, four years later, Bryden has trained more than 250 players across Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. Still, it’s watching his first student that never gets old and Bryden hopes his son can catch the attention of a Division I program.
“The last two, three years I’ve sent some of my students to Division I colleges,” said Bryden. “I know that I’m doing something right.”
So, there are certainly things that stand out about Bryden, but he doesn’t want to be one of a kind.
“Hopefully I can influence some deaf coaches that they can coach hearing kids,” said Bryden. “If you can see me, what I’m doing, they can do the same thing.”