Sam Greiner had just begun coaching his first high school football team when he encountered Braheam Murphy. Murphy, a quarterback, was full of potential but had a heartbreaking secret; he was homeless. No one expected that his new coach would mentor the troubled teen.
Sam Greiner wasted no time and opened his home and heart to Braheam, finally giving him the family he deserved. The coach’s compassion helped Murphy excel in football and academically and take back his future. Here are the inspirational, heartwarming details of how Greiner helped Murphy overcome his obstacles.
Greiner the Gym Teacher
Sam Greiner began as a physical education instructor and a health teacher at Harding University High School. The teacher hoped one day to become the school’s football coach. His dream would come true, though it wouldn’t be easy. Sam was not yet the team’s coach when he met Braheam Murphy.
His students didn’t know that Sam is happily married to his lovely wife, Connie and that their gym teacher is the father of two little daughters. Sam’s girls Charli and Journi love doing sports with their dad. Connie and Sam are devoted and supportive parents, always there for their girls.
Strong Faith and a Strong Family
In addition to believing in the importance of family values, Sam is an unwavering believer in God. Connie and Sam are devout keepers of the Christian faith, and their top priorities are family, faith, and football. All four of the Greiner family attend Church weekly and pray daily.
They are a close-knit unit what makes their ability to admit another child in need into their circle even more impressive. Whether it was their Christian values or their family values that convinced them to welcome Braheam, we’ll never know. However, it is clear that whatever the motivation, they are good people.
Coaching The Laughingstock of Charlotte
Soon enough, Sam’s aspiration came into fruition, and he was offered the coaching job he’d dreamed of. However, being the football coach at Harding University High School wasn’t a very coveted job. The team was unmotivated and had been consistently losing for over twenty years, becoming “the laughingstock of Charlotte.”
Looking back, Sam remembers that they could barely win a game. However, the young coach had faith in himself, believing that with some hard work, they could get better. When he first took the post as Coach, Sam had no idea that it would end up changing his life forever.
The 90 Pound Quarterback
Braheam was a student in Sam’s strength and conditioning lesson. The class was held during the first period, and Braheam left a considerable impression of Sam. As a high school freshman, Braheam weighed only ninety pounds and was small. Sam even described him as the smallest kid he’d ever seen.
Braheam wouldn’t always make it to class, and sometimes he’d be extremely tardy. Later Sam found out that Braheam had to find a way to get to school every day; he didn’t have a bus. At the time, Braheam didn’t tell his coach the real reason that he was late.
Jumping From Couch to Couch
Braheam ended up asking the coach for a ride to work after school a few times, each time asking to be dropped off somewhere else. Sam found his behavior suspicious and asked the teenager where he actually lived and worked.
The young man opted to trust Sam, and he shared the truth about his precarious housing situation. Braheam was jumping between couches of family members and friends, with no home of his own. The boy had no adults caring for him and no bed to rest his head. Due to his situation, he often missed half of the school day.
They Had Each other’s Backs
The harsh reality was that Braheam hadn’t had an easy life. His mother passed away when he was only five years old, and his circumstances only got worse. Luckily, Braheam had his inner strength to help him through, and he had his brothers and sisters, who were all there for each other.
Being the youngest of his siblings, Braheam was most lacking in a nurturing parental figure. Somehow, he managed to get by and devoted his energies to doing well in class and sports. Although, no matter how hard he tried, it was hard for him to attend school.
Not Measuring Up
As a result of his inability to attend classes, he was failing his classes. His low grades impacted his GPA score, making him ineligible to continue to play on the school’s football team. Sam believed that Braheam was too smart not to be able to play football because of his grades.
Braheam had previously shown great promise as a football player, and the team and the faculty agreed that they needed him on the field. However, school policy dictates that students achieve a passing GPA to play. Sam needed Braheam to star for him and wanted to help.
Hung Onto His Hopes
The young man had planned on focusing on his passion for football, and when he was told that he could no longer play on the team because of his grades, it broke his heart. However, when Sam told him the bad news, he showed no emotion. He was used to staying strong.
Later, Braheam admitted that he’d cried himself to sleep for a few nights. Throughout the ups and downs of his life, he’d hung on to his dream to excel at football. He was talented enough on the field to make it, but his circumstances got in the way.
The Coach and Connie Cook Dinner
When Braheam told his coach about his living situation, Sam was heartbroken. The coach picked up on the stress that Braheam was under and saw that he was underfed, so he resolved to invite the boy over for a homecooked meal. Although it’s uncommon for a gym teacher to invite a student to dinner, Braheam accepted.
Sam told his wife Connie about Braheam’s circumstances, and naturally, she agreed that the young man could use a hearty meal. Therefore, the Greiner’s invited Braheam to spend an evening with their family, during which they intended to make him feel welcome.
Braheam and Connie’s Bond
Connie told Sam to just bring Braheam home for a meal. So, the coach casually suggested dinner at his place to the teenager. To his surprise, Braheam accepted without hesitation. At dinner that night, Sam noticed that Braheam consumed his meal within seconds and then kept eating.
It looked like Braheam had never gotten the opportunity to eat so much in his life. However, the best part of the evening was how good Braheam and Connie were hitting it off. They instantly bonded. With no embarrassment, the two talked openly, touching even on the most meaningful subjects.
Original Angel Connie
Connie had a big heart, so Sam wasn’t surprised that she was so welcoming to Braheam. The lovely lady had worked as a sales assistant for most of her adult life in jewelry stores, like Sterling Jewelers. When she gained more experience, she was hired as a store manager for Pandora.
Connie then switched to skincare and became the store manager of Charlotte, South Carolina’s Origins store. Aside from work, the full-time mother and wife was in college, studying hard to gain her degree. Even while scoring high grades academically, Connie always put her family first.
Happily Ever After
The truth is that after coming for dinner, Braheam never left. Sam admitted that the young man just ended up staying with them from then on. Connie and Sam had told him that he could stay however long he needed. As time passed, Braheam just began to feel like one of the family.
Finally, Braheam got the chance to have a family. At Sam and Connie’s, he had his very own room and was expected to do chores like the other kids. Braheam also babysat for the coach’s two daughters and created a connection with them as well.
Braheam Joins the Team
The fact that Braheam, at long last, had a supportive and balanced home life made him extremely happy. His fulfillment was noticeable, and Braheam began to show more potential in school and even excel further at sports. He admitted that being cared for made him want to succeed in life.
Back when he was without a home, Murphy was failing numerous classes. However, once he began staying with the Greiner’s, his grades improved until he reached a 4.0 GPA. Braheam’s academic accomplishments allowed the young man to get back on the football field to the team’s delight.
Taking One for The Team
Although Sam, Braheam’s new foster parent, was the coach of Harding University High School’s football team, he didn’t give Murphy special attention on the field. It so happened that Murphy even decided to take a position he wasn’t crazy about because that was the best thing for the team.
Sam was proud of Braheam for making a sacrifice and recognized the young man’s leadership potential. Despite preferring to play defensive back, Braheam agreed to be the team’s quarterback because that was what the group needed. He took one for the team and put aside his own needs for other people.
Leveling The Playing Field
Looking back, Sam understood that Braheam was the reason for the team’s success. The coach recalled an incredible thing that had happened when the Harding Rams were set to play against the West Mecklenburg Hawks, a varsity team that ranked among the highest in the state.
The Hawks never believed that the Rams could beat them and get into the playoffs. However, Braheam thought differently, believing that his team could overcome anything. Sam lacked his son’s confidence, but the young man insisted on punching in the endzone instead of huddling to think of other options.
Time Was Running Out
Despite Sam’s orders, Braheam wouldn’t back down, but time wasn’t on his side. They couldn’t afford to brainstorm on another strategy as the Hawk’s went back in and kept scoring against them. Just as people were expecting, the game wasn’t looking good for Harding University High School.
With less than forty seconds on the clock, Braheam disobeyed Sam’s game plan and threw a touchdown pass. His throw won the game. That win meant everything for the Harding Rams; they would finally attend the playoffs. For the first time in sixty years, the team could stand proud and tall.
Flood Gates Flowing
Sam told this inspiring story in Church with Braheam by his side on the stage. The young man tried his best to fight back the tears as Sam shared their accomplishments with the congregation. However, Sam’s praise got Braheam’s flood gates flowing. The young man was overwhelmed by his adoptive father’s love.
With pride and joy, Sam told their community that Braheam had changed his life and done more for Sam and his family than they would ever do for him. It became clear that the coach saw Braheam as his son and believed him to be an extraordinary person.
Braheam’s Birth Father
After Braheam brought the Harding Rams to victory against the West Mecklenburg Hawks, he decided to celebrate with those closest to his heart. That included Connie, Sam, and their daughters, but Braheam’s biological father. Both of his fathers had attended Braheam’s winning game.
Dino, Braheam’s birth dad, and Danielle, the young man’s half-sister, posed for a photo with him and the Greiner’s after the game. If Braheam’s father was alive and well and even attended his games, why hadn’t the teenager lived with him instead of on the street before moving in with Sam and Connie.
Danielle, Dominique, and Dino
Braheam mother had passed away because of a brain aneurysm when the boy was only five years old. Her death left him and his older sister, Dominique, alone because despite his father being around, the man had remarried. Dino’s new wife had become pregnant with Danielle, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Due to her condition, Danielle required extra attention, and Dino needed to provide for her. Furthermore, Dino’s family’s apartment wasn’t big enough to accommodate Braheam and Dominique. The family had tried living all together for a little while, but it was impossible.
Good Faith Spreads
After their life-changing victory, Sam and Braheam were invited to a “Night of Worship” at their local Church. Sam was asked to invite as many people as he could by the pastor, and he took the request seriously. The coach brought more than thirty-five students from Harding University High School.
At the end of the night, they had an altar call, and to Sam’s amazement, all thirty-five of the students he invited went down to the alter. The coach hadn’t realized how much impact his faith and Christian beliefs had on the team; he’d just listened to his heart.
A Bright Future Before Braheam
Braheam graduated from Harding High School with honors in 2018. His proud adoptive parents came to his graduation to show support. The young man had made a profound shift, from failing most of his classes to graduating with a GPA of 4.0 and becoming the MVP of the football team.
It proved that with the proper nurturing support and caring circumstances, anyone could improve and reach success. Sam and Connie couldn’t help being proud of their son for graduating. The couple truly believed in him and knew that finishing high school was just the beginning for Braheam.
The Army-Navy Game
Braheam’s next big move was to send an application to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. Of course, the talented young man was accepted. His loving adoptive parents, Sam and Connie, were highly pleased for him and shared his milestone on Instagram.
Sam posted pictures of Braheam playing at the Army-Navy football game. Unfortunately, they had been unable to attend the game and hoped to make it the following year. Sam was sure that despite the difficulties of the Military Academy, Braheam would prevail thanks to his inner strength and belief in working hard for a better future.
A Tough Day for Dad
Doing well at the Military Academy required hard work, and Braheam hardly got to see his family. However, they supported him, knowing that there was a good reason for his absence. Sam’s eldest daughter was starting school, and Sam knew that they would all be busy. However, he couldn’t help missing his son.
It wasn’t easy for Sam to get used to driving to Harding High without Braheam beside him. They’d driven together every day for three whole years, so having him gone was tough. However, he was excited to take Charli to her first day of kindergarten.
Kicking Back on the Weekends
Braheam completely fits in with the Greiner family. Some weekends he’d come home from the Academy and kick back to his regular spot on the couch. Charli and Journi, his younger sisters, can barely remember their lives before Braheam. The girls love goofing off with their big brother.
Sam and Connie make sure that when Braheam comes home for the weekend, the whole family gets to spend quality time together, preferably with their cat as well. The Greiner family enjoys going out for burgers, playing board games, cooking homemade meals, watching movies together, and more.
Braheam Felt Blessed
Despite Braheam being away at the Military Academy, he still got leave to come home for holidays and birthdays. The young man made sure to be home for Christmas. The holiday wouldn’t be the same without the whole family spending it together. Being all together made it merrier.
Connie makes sure that the whole family color coordinates during the holidays; otherwise, the pictures aren’t as good. Braheam even posted a photo of the entire family together on Christmas day, commenting on how blessed he felt to be spending the holiday home with them.
The West Point Graduate
After finishing one year at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School, Braheam went on to another school. The talented young man was accepted to West Point Academy, and the best part was that he got a full football scholarship to play on the West Point team, the Army Black Knights.
The whole Greiner family came out to celebrate Braheam’s graduation. Sam, for one, was ecstatic that his son had been accepted to West Point and due to his talents at football no less! The father really saw his son as a resilient warrior who had the ability to lead.
Braheam, the Babysitter
The incredible thing about Braheam Murphy and his adoption by the Greiner family is that he became like one of the siblings. The young man is so close with his sisters; it’s admirable. Despite their age difference, he seriously bonded with the girls, proving to be a true role model for them.
Charli and Journi have learned a lot from their big brother. However, they also have fun together; aside from babysitting and playing with dolls, he even lets them do makeup on him. Braheam also reads to the girls proving to be the best older brother there is.
Making Sam and Connie Proud
Braheam took his habit of reading stories to his sisters to the next level and volunteered to read a book to the kids at Charli’s school. Sam attended the reading as well and posted pictures of Braheam reading to the kids. Charli was so happy that her brother came and couldn’t stop smiling.
Braheam’s progress from a teenager from a broken home, with no place to rest his head and a terrible attendance record, to a college student with a full scholarship, was incredible. No wonder Bain Elementary school wanted him to come volunteer with the children.
Their Love Only Grows
Through thick and thin, Sam and Connie have maintained a fantastic relationship; their marriage is solid and loving. Sam often posts adoring photographs of his wife, captioning them with sentimental declarations of his undying love for her, in disbelief that he could love someone so much.
The coach is continuously showering his wife with love and praise for all that she does for him. It doesn’t matter if they have an anniversary or on any regular day; he shows his gratitude. Sam stated that he loves Connie more and more every day that goes by.
Grandma Gigi Greiner
Generosity must run in the Greiner family. Sam’s mother, Kitty Huffstetler, before known as Gigi Greiner, also made sure Braheam felt welcome in the family. Gigi is Braheam’s biggest cheerleader and has completely taken on the role of his grandma. The young man couldn’t be any luckier.
She watches his games religiously and proudly posts about her adopted grandson on social media. Grandma Greiner also misses Braheam and wishes he could come to visit for more than a few days, but she knows that he must go back to college to train for his games and study for his tests.
It’s A Boy
Not long ago, the coach announced some extremely exciting news. The Greiner’s are preparing to welcome another child into their home! Connie is pregnant again, and the family could not be happier. The best part is that it’s a boy. Braheam and Coach Sam will have a boy with whom to share their passion for football.
The new brother of Braheam, Charli, and Journi still hasn’t been born, but Sam and Connie have already chosen a name for their son. They decided on Elijah Rock Greiner. Sam is hoping that their newest addition to the family will be another athlete.
Following in Her Father’s Footsteps
However, it isn’t only Braheam who loves sports; the girls are pretty impressive athletes as well. Sam has always encouraged physical fitness and health as a gym teacher, and his family has benefited from his vast knowledge and motivation. Sam and Connie’s girls have developed their own interest in sports.
Sam makes sure to have daddy-daughter quality time and watch games with his girls. He bonds with Charli over boxing matches and encourages her to succeed in physical fitness at school. The young girl even received an award in her gym class for outstanding performance.
I See You Coach
Sam isn’t only a great coach, but he also used to be a football player himself. The coach always had a passion for the sport and played all through high school. The coach played alongside Jamel Jackson, who became Defensive Back for the Austin Peay Governors in college.
Sam never went pro. Instead, he dedicated his talents to coaching kids. However, knowing that their coach was a high school player himself has helped his team to appreciate him more. One of them even commented, “I see you, Coach,” on a picture that Sam posted of his glory days.
Finally, Some Family Fun
Like the rest of the world, the Greiner’s were at home in lockdown for most of 2020. However, now that life is slowly going back to normal, the happy family has begun stepping back out in public. Being home with young children all year wasn’t easy.
The girls are sure excited to be out and about again. They have tried to have fun lately, going to the beach and even eating out again. With a baby on the way, a lot will change for the whole family soon. Another thing that changed is Sam’s hair, which has grown out.
Still Attending Church Every Sunday
Although he is away at school during the week, Braheam makes an effort to come home on the weekends to attend Church with the Greiner’s on Sundays. The young man has developed a strong belief in God and appreciates Connie and Sam’s principles and ethical code.
Braheam has learned from them to put faith, family, and football at the top of his set of values.
Likewise, Sam continues to preach that nothing is more important than worship and family. Sam misses his Church and community when gone on vacation or away games; he feels truly blessed to have them.
Started From the Bottom
Braheam has been playing running back for the Army Black Knights at West Point and really fine-tuning his talents. The young man has grown up strong, and he is unrecognizable from the skinny boy he was. He has become a big, fast force on the football field.
Murphy started from the bottom but really made his way in life. However, according to him, he is not done yet. Braheam still wants to see better days. We do not doubt that this hard-working survivor will continue honing his football skills and make an impact.
Number One Dad
Recently, the Greiner’s went on their first family vacation, spending time at their friend’s beach house in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They went to see the movie “A Quiet Place 2” in the theater and were so happy to have life feel normal finally.
It is pretty clear that whenever he has free time, Coach Sam spends it with his kids. Sam even went and got his hair braided with the girls. The loving dad likes to take the girls out for snow cones after school and even brings them to practice sometimes.
Anything He Puts His Hands To
Throughout 2020, Sam spent a lot more time at home and started some new hobbies. The productive dad has been working on a bunch of carpentry work and DIYing, trying to fix things around their house. He is quite proud of his new talents as the house handyman.
Sam completed many successful projects, building hanging storage in the garage, making stained wooden shutters for the windows, and building planter boxes for the deck. He also made candlestick holders for Connie and built her a bench from scratch on Mother’s Day.
Soul Full 70
The fact that Sam is so humble and driven has helped his career, and now besides coaching, he has started hosting on PrepsNow. PrepsNow covers high school sports throughout twenty counties in North Carolina. Greiner has also moved on to coach the West Charlotte High School football team.
Sam also started a series of clips that he calls “Soul Full 70.” The videos are meant to motivate his players and followers and uplift them. The coach tries to bring up thought-provoking subjects and quotes his favorite bible quotes, hoping to help others with his faith and drive.