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Juniata Head Coach Gary Klingensmith Hears Sound for the First Time Since Childhood

Written by: on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017. Follow Staff on Twitter.


Juniata Head Coach Gary Klingensmith has done and seen a lot of things in his 70+ year life span. He’s raised a beautiful family, played football at Penn State for coach Rip Engle, (Joe Paterno was a mere assistant), and in 1969 he took the helm of the Juniata HS football program. He’s coached thousands of players, won hundreds of football games, yelled at many a referee and given many an interview in front of hundreds of thousands, watched many a marching band lead his team onto the field and looked on as the Indian cheeleaders led those crowds in loud cheers. The one thing he hasn’t done in all those years, is he hasn’t heard any of them. Coach Klingensmith lost his hearing at a very young age.

I consider Gary one of THE greatest coaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with. When I received a notification in my Facebook page from his lovely wife Linda and proceeded to read and watch the video, I will tell you more than one tear came to my eyes. CONGRATULATION COACH!  I am SO looking forward to my next interview with you!!!

Linda would like to share the following experience with as many people as possible for a couple of reasons:

“One is to let everyone know the Power of Prayers and never to doubt it! God answers prayers in his own time and way and he answered our prayer in a big way! It has taken awhile but it came! So always turn to God in prayer for it is your best tool to handle life’s ups and downs!
Secondly, I hoped someone else out there who feels isolated from deafness would seek medical advice for this problem and take advantage of the medical miracle that is right at your finger tips. It is a life changing experience!!”

“I would like to share one of the happiest days in our family’s lives! On July 7th Gary got a Cochlear Implant! Today he received the processor and it was activated!! For the first time in almost 70 years ( he lost his hearing at around age 4 or 5) he can hear!!!

It will take up to a year for him to get the full process of hearing but the Audiologist was very surprised at how well he could hear today! He could hear things that we take for granted like the clicking of a ball point pen, the clicking of the Audiologist’s computer keys, the dropping of a paper clip on the desk, paper rattling, the clicking of the turn signals on the way home, and even the squishing sound that his sneakers were making while he walked and the radio drove him crazy as we drove home! The things he wanted to hear the most were children’s voices and of all things Crickets! So I hope there will be some cricket sounds tonight!!8

He still has to be looking at you to hear every word but I did not have to repeat anything and that had not happened in a lot of years!! It is a medical miracle and we Praise God for this Blessing that he has Bestowed upon Gary!! It will add so much more quality to his life!!
The procedure today took a little over 2 hours as they programmed the processor with volume, pitches and clarity of sound. I videoed all of that but I am posting the first he heard voices! It was all I could do to hold back the tears of joy I had for him!

Thank you all who knew about this day for your prayers!”



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One Response to “Juniata Head Coach Gary Klingensmith Hears Sound for the First Time Since Childhood”

  1. Gary Shaffer says:

    I was in High School when I watched Gary play in the Penn State backfield. He always appeared to me as tough as they come in the way he played…naturally, until the play was fully over. His demeanor on the field and on the sidelines exposed a character and resolve that I remember to this day. Gary was gone when I was on Joe’s 1st Team, but his legend lived on in the locker room. Though we never met, I’m happy for you, Gary. And, congrats on your successful coaching career.