Cardinals DC Bettcher and his wife Erica helped save a man's life this offseason

James Bettcher belongs to two teams.

He’s the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator, but his main team is Team Bettcher.

“One of the things you're anxious to do everyday is to get home and see your family,” he said.

The Bettcher bunch runs four deep. There’s their 2-year-old daughter Addison, 6-year-old son Colton, and the quarterback of the household, James’ wife Erica. They are one big team, which is the perfect way to describe James and Erica’s journey until now.

“Any decision we have ever made has been, “Hey Erica, this is what’s going on, we have this opportunity, what do you think about it?” James said.

They make every decision together. Teamwork has brought them to the Valley. Coach Bettcher is going on his fifth year with the Cardinals, third as defensive coordinator.

“We’ve got to plant some roots here in Chandler, and we just really love it here,” Erica said. 

Call it right place right time, but that never rang more true then on the morning of Feb. 17, 2017. 

James and Erica were taking their 6-year-old son Colton to school when the unthinkable happened right in front of them.

Tauren Meadows Jr. was riding his bike to school when he was hit and subsequently run over by a vehicle. Tauren was trapped underneath and required immediate rescue. James and Erica rushed right into help.

Along with the help of another bystanders, they quickly began the process of lifting the car off Tauren using a car jack. Tauren was freed from the vehicle in time as medical personnel arrived on scene to take him to a local hospital.

Thankfully, he was released from the hospital with minor injuries.

In April, the City of Chandler honored James and Erica with the “Lifesaver Award.” Earlier this month, the story came full-circle: The Cardinals invited a healthy Tauren and members of the Chandler Fire Department to watch practice. Tauren finally got to meet the man who helped save his life. 

The Bettchers are heroes, but they don’t see it that way.

“We don’t consider ourselves heroes. We were just are the right place at the right time to help," Erica said.

Chandler Fire Chief Tom Dwiggins sees it a little differently.

“He was not Coach Bettcher, he was Dad Bettcher”, said Dwiggins. “He was thinking about what would happen if his son were underneath that vehicle. That’s what made him act so quickly. Because of his efforts, we were able to get on scene right away, and able to provide first aid.”

But Coach Bettcher knows who the true heroes are, and he saw them in action on Feb. 17.

“If anything that comes from this, [it] is you get to see how unbelievable, special and unique our first responders are” Bettcher said. “As a coach whose job it is to organizes things and direct traffic, to see how they react, respond, work together in unison, we are so lucky to live in this community.”

One community. One family. One team.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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