Welcome! I am an educator, coach, husband, dad, and often misunderstood introvert. But, what I really want to share with you here is my love of sport and how it intersects with Christian faith in our everyday lives.
My parents say that all I wanted to play with as a child was a ball. I could not get enough of sports, in the back yard or in organized settings. I played three sports in high school, two in college, then made it a career. Along the way, I learned from some excellent coaches and professors that sport and faith should not be segmented. After teaching and coaching at a middle school, I went back to my further studies at UNC-Chapel Hill (Masters of Arts in Teaching) and UNC-Greensboro (PhD in teacher education and physical education). I landed my first collegiate job at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. This 8-year stint was pivotal in shaping me as an academic, and it’s where I began to more seriously explore ideas of sport and Christianity.
I’ve learned a lot in professional studies, but as some of you know, things really hit home when you have kids of your own. My high school sweetheart Joni, fortunately said “yes”, and we married shortly after college. She’s taught me many lessons, and the hardest to take were often on the tennis court as she played collegiately. My three children are all almost out of the house now, but playing with them as little children, teaching them about sports, then walking alongside them as they played through and beyond high school taught me more than all the books, combined.
Add those "life lessons" to the "official career journey", and I'm now back home. The rest of the story is that while in graduate school I taught myself the game of golf (the one sport I did not grow up playing), and started sharing it with others. And you know what happened—the men’s golf coach job opened up at Calvin where I began as a professor in 2004. Since then, I have had the opportunity for 13-years to teach and coach at my alma mater. Together with many excellent and hard-working players through the years, we’ve flipped the men’s golf program from mediocre finishes to perennial contenders. We celebrated our first-ever MIAA title in 2010 and first trip to the NCAA Division III Championships 2011. Since then, we’ve added two more titles (2013, 2017) and more invitations to compete at the national level.
I continue to enjoy teaching, especially the capstone course for seniors in Kinesiology that explores philosophy and theology of the human body, sport, health, and all forms of movement. And, I have been able to teach not only in the classroom, but on numerous platforms in the community from kids’ camps to adult-education to an international conference centered on, you guessed it, sport and faith. Join me in the discussion through social media by checking out recent podcasts and articles.