Bryce Duffy Returns to BSU Football as Coach After Career-Ending Injury
Bryce Duffy’s football playing days may have been taken away early from him due to a career-ending spinal contusion injury at MSU-Moorhead on October 15th, but the former Bemidji State Football tight end isn’t completely done with the sport he grew up loving.
This past Spring, Duffy has made the transition from player to coach. The opportunity came about after former BSU Tight Ends Coach Brandon Labath left for St. Thomas. BSU Head Coach Brent Bolte gave Duffy a call, and before you know it, Duffy was on the staff as a Student Assistant/TE Coach.
After his spinal contusion injury at MSU-Moorhead, Duffy was taken off the field in an ambulance and spent the next five days in the ICU. Duffy avoided any internal bleeding, but didn’t regain feeling in his arms and legs until four days later.
Duffy had his fair share of good and bad days, but he kept a sense of perspective throughout the rehab process.
“Taking it one game at a time, realizing that I can’t control anything else but this moment,” said Duffy. “I can’t worry about 10 minutes from now, I can’t worry about 10 minutes that just went by, the biggest thing is having a positive mindset and just doing my best to stay in the moment.”
A highlight in Duffy’s long journey of rehab came on November 5th, when he walked out to midfield as an honorary captain before the Beavers regular season game vs. Northern State.
Staying in Bemidji during his recovery has helped Duffy remain positive through the process. “Just being in the presence of the team, the guys, the staff, it just puts a smile on my face. It makes things a lot easier being around the same people I’ve been around for the last five years.”
And throughout the six-month whirlwind, Duffy says he’s gained a new perspective on life.
“It’s kind of changed my mindset, where now I know these practices aren’t guaranteed, as goes for any day that we’re alive isn’t guaranteed…it’s just kind of knowing that it really takes a split-second to change your life,” he said.
Duffy plans to continue to stay at Bemidji State as as Student Assistant/TE Coach next fall.