NFL star Michael Oher makes appearance at house renovation for Greenville football coach

NFL star Michael Oher, whose life story inspired the movie “The Blind Side,” was a surprise celebrity guest on Sunday, as crews from the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” began building a home for Greenville High football coach Jeremy Williams, who has the terminal illness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“(Oher) was there for the presentation on Sunday, and said some really nice things to Jeremy,” said Carol Lane, Meriwether County’s Superintendent of Schools. “I can’t reveal anything that was said between the two, because the TV people want to keep everything ‘hush hush’ until it is shown on TV.”

Williams and his family had their cell phones confiscated before leaving on a weeklong vacation to Colorado, according to Greenville High team chaplain Gerald Fowler. “The (TV people) want to save Jeremy’s reaction to it for the show.”

On Sunday, Williams had his street blocked off as the family waited for the arrival of TV show’s famous bus. Several family members and friends were around when Williams was officially told that his Pine Mountain home would be replaced by a new one.

“(Jeremy) was shocked, and I know when I talked to him later, all he could say was that he was ‘humbled,” Lane said.

Then the family was carried off to Greenville High School, where they were circled by the TV show’s construction crew and members of the school’s football team for several rounds of congratulations. Oher, accompanied by his mother and little brother, spoke for a few minutes to the crowd.

“Jeremy was crying, his wife was crying … well, everybody was crying,” Lane said.

“This couldn’t happen to a nicer family. It’s hard for me to talk about them without crying. Jeremy is a blessing to more people than you can ever imagine. He has been a father figure to many of our students that don’t have their fathers around.

“He has taught all of us, whatever comes your way in life, you’ve got the decision to feel sorry for yourself, or live life to the fullest. Jeremy has been through so much and has never given up. He’s just as blessing to everybody that meets him.”

Fowler said that the TV show is also considering repairs to Greenville High’s football fieldhouse, including new lockers and new equipment.

Photos from Wilcox Co.-Greenville | Pelham-Greenville | Greenville coach fights ALS

29 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2010
8:54 pm

George Holman

February 22nd, 2010
9:43 pm

Greenville, SC? God bless him!


February 22nd, 2010
10:42 pm

No, Greenville, GA. Congrats Coach!!!


February 22nd, 2010
11:10 pm

Hooray to all, ‘God bless us everyone’ . . .


February 22nd, 2010
11:56 pm



February 23rd, 2010
12:18 am


February 23rd, 2010
6:49 am

So when is the show to be aired?


February 23rd, 2010
7:14 am

So glad to read see and hear so much negative..Good will always shine brighter…


February 23rd, 2010
7:38 am

The show is due to air in May. It is rumored to be the season finale! This family is amazing!!! They are true people of God and deserve every bit of this blessing they are getting!! God is good!


February 23rd, 2010
7:49 am

Can’t wait to see this show. When will it air on T.V.?


February 23rd, 2010
8:01 am

Wonderful story, can’t wait to watch this show..Congrats coach and family..

BBall Fan

February 23rd, 2010
8:38 am

This is a wonderful story, but can someone on this horrible site report high school basketball. We are so fortunate to have the highest level of basketball played in our state, but no one wants to report on it. The region finals were played last night and there in NOTHING on it. Come on journalist’s do your job…


February 23rd, 2010
8:59 am

I have been watching the story of Coach Jeremy Williams in the AJC with interest because I lost my brother to ALS last year. It is amazing what Coach Williams has been able to do while fighting this terrible disease. He has touched the lives of many in his community.


February 23rd, 2010
9:11 am

I look forward to when the show airs. Any help with the date? Also, Watts Dantzler, one of the top O linemen in the state’s father Danny suffered from ALS and passed away almost two tears ago. He spoke at our church one Sunday and his courage and faith amidst this difficult disease was extremely uplifting. There was not a dry eye in the church.


February 23rd, 2010
9:14 am

no one is more deserving than coach!

February 23rd, 2010
9:55 am

Show will be on in May, so will have to remember that…….


February 23rd, 2010
9:56 am

Jeremy Williams, his family, and the Greenville Community continue to be a shining example of great values, determination, and humility. This new home is so well deserved.

A special thanks to Michael Carvell and his editors at AJC for identifying this wonderful story. The way it was followed by AJC has helped showcase it for the rest of the state to see.

Jeremy’s life is so inspirational. Thanks, Jeremy. Thanks, Greenville. Thanks, Extreme Makeover. Thanks, Michael and the AJC.

God is Good

February 23rd, 2010
10:26 am

I thought this is in Greenville, Georgia-right? This will be an emotional show. Might want to get the Costco multipack of kLEENEX. a JOB WELL DONE BY EVERYONE. I can’t wait to see it.


February 23rd, 2010
10:30 am

I didn’t know G’ville was in Meriwether County. That’s like the last county before Alabama going down 85 south. I thought G’ville was in a more northern area of Georgia.
God Bless Jeremy Williams!!


February 23rd, 2010
10:31 am

I love this show and watch it every week. But, I’ve always wondered. If everyone loves these people soooo much, why haven’t they helped the family before the show gets to them?


February 23rd, 2010
10:38 am

When will this episode run?????


February 23rd, 2010
10:39 am

Cookie, I guess all of the single moms and multi-millonares in Greenville, GEORGIA. are going to pay for a new house?? Get a clue.


February 23rd, 2010
11:08 am

Brian…. Did I say anything about paying for a new house? They do come out to help and volunteer during the show tho.


February 23rd, 2010
11:09 am

P.S. I do have a clue!!


February 23rd, 2010
12:23 pm

Okay, people!
Greenville, Georgia is the county seat of Meriwether County.
Located just east of Troup County (LaGrange).
A beautiful place, sans stop lights and pretense.
In fact, as you come into town, you must proceed in a counter-clockwise direction around the county courthouse in the center of its square, while approaching traffic must yield to traffic circling, much like a European circus (or a roundabout as we Southerners call ‘em).
Turn south from I-85 on GA HWY 27 out of Newnan (through Moreland and Luthersville) and it’s about 30 min.

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February 28th, 2010
12:21 pm

GREAT STORY!! Good to hear something like this, tired of all the negative. Good Luck Coach!


May 16th, 2010
10:54 pm

Saw the episode tonight … what an amazing, inspiring story!


May 17th, 2010
6:27 am

The AJC didn’t get the home address right on any article I can find. It is “Pine Mountain Valley”, not Pine Valley (which doesn’t exist there) or Pine Mountain, which is on the other side of the mountain.