It’s November in Southern California, and NFL coach Deland McCullough is waiting for the news that will change his life. More than four decades ago, Deland’s birth mother gave him up to be raised by another family. Now, the files containing her name have finally arrived – but they lead to a revelation more staggering than anyone could have imagined.
By the time that Deland’s adoption papers arrived in late 2017, he was working at the University of Southern California, where he coached the football team’s running backs. With a wife, four children and a fulfilling career, his life had been a success by anyone’s definition. However, his path had sometimes been a rocky one.
Deland was born Jon Briggs in December 1972 at a home for mothers and babies in Pennsylvania. His mom, 16-year-old Carol Briggs, had fallen pregnant after a fling and hadn’t told Jon’s father about his existence. Instead, she decided that adoption was the best way to provide their child with the opportunities that she could not.