30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Monday, April 16, 2012

Indiana University Football Fantasy for Two

On March 2, the Fellowship of Christian Athlete's rep from Indiana University reached out to me.  Many, many people reached out in the following weeks aftere the tornado and continue to do so.  Being the FCA rep at Henryville H.S., Dave Hudson (the FCA rep at IU and for southern IN) emailed me.  That started a relationship that has developed quickly over the last six weeks.  We met last Friday and spoke about possibly expanding my responsibilities with FCA in southern Indiana which is something I have been interested in the last few months.

But how that meeting came about was pretty amazing to me.  Mr. Hudson works closely with the IU football team and coaching staff and he conveyed to me that they wanted to do something to help the Henryville community post tornado.  Me writing this is going against Head Coach Kevin Wilson's  wishes in that he wanted to maintain low publicity, in fact, he wanted none.  But I believe that something like this needs to be public.  It needs to be known that Coach Wilson is not in Bloomington just worrying about putting together a winning football program (keep working coach!) but cares about the community he is serving.  Hudson and the IU football team coordinated some things that were so unbelievably impressive that I felt it had to be acknowledged here. 

I was asked by Hudson to speak to the football team at chapel last Friday before our meeting to discuss my future in helping FCA.  I felt it was a great way to thank the players personally and Hudson felt it would be good for the players to hear from someone directly affected that day (though minimally).  As we arrived we went to the football offices and were whisked almost immediately into head coach Kevin Wilson's office.  Impressive office, but even more impressive was how congenial he was not to just me but to my wife Kristi and especially my two kids.  Everyone associated with the football program were more than gracious with us as we walked around the building.  Maybe it is because I am an IU fan, but it seemed genuine, I mean...I am a basketball coach, it isn't like I have any D1 football recruits that played for me.

Coach Wilson offered and we quickly accepted for the kids to go down onto the football field and to run around and play.  I laughed while speaking with Hudson and my wife and got the thought across that the kids don't even realize what they are getting to do right now.  I know IU football didn't have the greatest season last year, but with Coach Wilson's intensity and focus, if he gets the right players, I truly believe they will be competitive in the near future.  What impressed me about Coach Wilson is that from what I know even though they didn't have the greatest season on the field last season, he seems to "get it" off the field.  Ultimately he will have to win and he knows that, but I felt much better about the football program after Friday night.

I went in and addressed the entire football team and coaching staff speaking for 15-20 minutes and then when finished my family was invited by Coach Wilson to hang around for awhile.  He spoke to me again personally and had very kind words to say about living in Oklahoma and knowing somewhat what the people of Henryville were going through.  The players were accomodating and kind to us and showed me respect.

I have spoken about the IU programs that have reached out because they have done so to me personally.  I do know that the University of Louisville football team came to Henryville and worked, they visited injured people in hospitals, and so did some of the Indianapolis Colts players.  There have been many people from all over who have either sent items to Henryville or physically visited and/or worked there in cleaning up.  It has been amazing.

We finished the night with the kids playing on the football field again and Hudson and I speaking about the future.  I hope that the team and coaching staff got as much out of the night my family and I did.  We are IU fans, so I doubt that the football team did get as much from some nobody former basketball coach, but Coach Wilson was able to make some dreams come true for two people....oh yea and my two kids, too.