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UAB Coach Trent Dilfer Finds Peace in God 20 Years After Son’s Death 

UAB Coach Trent Dilfer Finds Peace in God 20 Years After Son’s Death 

By Movieguide® Contributor 

University of Alabama at Birmingham’s head football coach Trent Dilfer thanked God for peace as he reflected on his son’s death.

On April 27, 2003, Dilfer and his family faced the unexpected death of his five-year-old son, Trevin, due to heart disease.

In an April 2023 Instagram post, Dilfer shared, “Today is the 20th anniversary of our sweet boy Trevin going home to be with his heavenly daddy. I am sad that his sisters, his mommy and I didn’t get a chance to grow up with Trevin.”

“However, I am thrilled and thank God often that Trevin knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior and had surrendered his life to Him, guaranteeing his future with Him,” he continued. “I can’t imagine how we as a family would be able to survive the pain of losing our boy without the hope and peace we have in Jesus. Thank you, Lord that you have covered the Dilfer’s with a peace that transcends understanding.”

He added, “Philippians 4:6-7 reads ‘Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God and the PEACE of God that TRANSCENDS UNDERSTANDING will guard your hearts and minds In CHRIST JESUS.’”

In another post, Dilfer shared a photo of him and Trevin for what would have been his son’s 25th birthday. 

“Trevin, it is crazy to think you would be 25 today,” Dilfer wrote. “For some reason, this morning I grieve more intensely over not being with you. However, The Lord took me to 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 to remind me that He is our comfort. Although the pain of losing you is still very real and intense, I have grown to the point where I truly can thank The Lord you are with his heavenly daddy instead of your earthly one. It’s crazy how two things that seem opposite can be going on at the same time…”

“I deeply hurt today over not being able to be with you, yet I am full of gratitude and praise that The Lord called you into relationship with him at that pancake house in Seattle,” he added. “Your decision that night to follow Jesus guaranteed your future with Him. Crazy that just 6 months later your earthly body would fail you and you would go home to heaven to get a new one.” 

“Only the God of miracles can heal a father’s broken heart and he has with me. Buddy, know that you are dearly missed by your mommy, daddy and sisters. We, as well as so many others around the country, will celebrate your birthday tonight with your favorite meal…ribs and root beer. We love you Trevin,” he concluded.  

At the time of Trevin’s death, Dilfer was the second-string quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Dilfer was so torn that he felt no need to play football and didn’t want to live. 

However, Seahawks teammate Matt Hasselback helped Dilfer through his grief. 

NCS Sports reported that Dilfer told USA Today, “[Hasselbeck was] walking me through the most difficult time of my life. I mean I was a mess. I’ll be very transparent. I mean I was 265 pounds and drinking myself to sleep. I’m depressed, my wife’s going, ‘What’s going on?’” 

“And it’s that guy, Matthew Hasselbeck, that says, ‘This is over. I love you too much to let you do this to yourself. You need to come back up to Seattle.’ And I credit Matthew Hasselbeck for the type of father I am, the type of husband I am, because he really saved my life in 2003,” he shared.

Dilfer played five more seasons in the NFL. He would then retire to become a broadcaster and now serves as the head coach for UAB football. 

As UAB head coach, Dilfer uses his influence to give back to the children who have cancer. 

Dilfer shared a video that allowed a child with cancer to be a coach for UAB for one day. 

Dilfer wrote, “Providing Hope for the childhood cancer journey @smileamile_ @james_howell27  #FireBreathersOnly.”

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