EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – For the last 16 years, Mary Deig has been volunteering with the Reitz football program and players to help them excel both on the field and in life.

“Basically, I grew up in inner city Indianapolis, and I wanted to be a part of something bigger than I was and this particular high school program is something special,” said coach Deig, Reitz director of football operations. “Nothing like you’ve ever seen, nothing I had ever seen. I still get goose bumps every time they walk out,” she added.

Matt Lehman, Reitz’s freshman head football coach says he thinks of DEIG as being the “mother of Reitz football” because just like any other mother she does her best to not only be there for the kids but make sure they have all the tools they need to be successful.

“Coach Mary really exemplifies kind of what we’re all about up here for football and what we preach to our kids, which is to be a selfless individual and to put the put the best interests of others ahead of yourself so that we can achieve a goal,” explained coach Lehman.

Coach Deig says as much as the she does for the coaching staff and players she feels like the program does as much for her and was really there for her when she needed it most.

“For work, I was in New York on 911 and I was three blocks away from the World Trade Center,” said coach Deig. “It was a very traumatic experience. When I came home, I was diagnosed with PSTD and I needed something in my life to get me out of that trauma and REITZ football is the thing that got me out,” she explained.

Varsity head coach Cory Brunson she makes life so much easier for not only him but everyone in the program.

“Coaches always tell her how special she is, how fortunate we are to have her,” said coach Brunson. “There’s a lot of things she does. Makes life for us a lot, lot easier than some places are unfortunate to have.”

Not only does she make sure all players from 7th grade to seniors have everything they need, she works hard to remember each players name and builds a connection with them.

“It’s a lot of kids, but she does a good job at it and she’s always there for us,” stated senior Kole Brantley. “There are anything if you ever have a question for or need help with anything, she’s always there for us to ask her anything.”

For coach Deig she loves helping and shaping the next generation in any way she can and she does by providing discipline and love.

“Part of my goal is to help anyone that I possibly can and keep them in the program so that they end up being the feeling loved and also have a place to be safe,” said Deig.