Spring 2021 Magazine

Former NFL safety Vernon Fox describes coaches as world changers

Former NFL player Vernon Fox understands the importance a coach has in the lives of their players.

The eight-year NFL veteran traded his cleats for a whistle after his final season with the Denver Broncos in 2009. Four years later, he was named the head football coach at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, Nev. That season he guided the Crusaders to the state championship with a 17-0 win over Churchill County in the Division I-A State Championship.

“Coaching football is a ministry,” Fox told Sports Spectrum. “When I accepted the job at Faith Lutheran High School, it was with that sole purpose in mind. This is an opportunity to infuse ministry with the game I’d been around for 18 or 19 years, at that time.

“For me, that’s the bigger picture: what we’re putting in them, and not just what we’re giving to them in terms of football skills. Our foundation is to build men of character, integrity, accountability and excellence. That happens through winning, through ‘lessons,’ as we call them, and through experiences the game of football can give you. There are so many spiritual lessons that you can learn. We utilize the Word of God every single day to merge that together.”

RELATED: OneCoach: Football Is Way Down the List – Vernon Fox

One of the best moments of coaching for Fox is when his players come back to the high school years after they graduated.

“Having the opportunity to change the lives of these young men,” he said, when asked about the best part of coaching. “I don’t think you really appreciate it or realize it until they graduate and come back and tell you how you impacted them. One of the most special moments for me was when a family came to me and told me that they had been at the school for four years. They hadn’t really been attending church, but they sent their son to the school because it’s a good school. They told me that the experience they had that one season with my staff and our program – they saw something different in us. They understood that God is real and prayer changes things. Their faith grew in their family. That’s one of the most impactful things that could have happened. Those are moments I live for as a coach.”

Vernon recently shared about the impact a coach makes as a world changer with his or her players in the clip below.

OneCoach, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is an international community of coaches and spouses who have been uniquely gifted and called by God. Visit OneCoach.org for more stories and videos.

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