Longtime Grace College men’s basketball coach, Jim Kessler, who retired at the end of this year’s season, was recognized on Monday at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Night of Hope in Fort Wayne, Ind. Kessler received the Northeast Indiana Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ first Coach’s Impact Award. He preceded Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, who was the featured speaker for the evening. The Fort Wayne, Ind., Journal-Gazette reported on the evening. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Singletary driven to serve God: Says as Christian, he had to play at high standard
When he was 12 years old, Mike Singletary’s parents divorced and his older brother died in a car accident within a six-month span.
The future Hall of Fame linebacker said at the time he was content to be “mediocre” and not rock the boat, but a conversation he had with his mother changed his outlook. …
Kessler received the Northeast Indiana Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ first Coach’s Impact Award, given to a coach who engages in what the organization calls “three-dimensional coaching.” That is, coaching that affects players’ minds, bodies and spirits.
The former Lancers coach announced his retirement in February after 42 years and close to 800 victories at Grace. He looked back on his career Monday in a moderated discussion about coaching and faith.
Kessler, who is now a special assistant to Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe, related the story of how he began playing basketball at recess in southern Missouri and later decided to attend to Grace to study physical education.
“I came out here to play at Grace, brought my young bride and who would have ever thought we’d end up staying here the rest of our lives?” Kessler said.
The NAIA Hall of Fame coach led in to Singletary’s speech with some advice that he attributed to the man who followed him onstage.
“(As coaches) we want our men to have passion, we want them to persevere and we want them to pursue integrity,” the coach said. “So many lessons you can learn in athletics, and integrity is one of those.
“I’m giving (Singletary) credit for this, he said, ‘Never cut a rep in practice.’ You know, that’s integrity.”
Click here to read the complete article.