CIU Business Student: What I Learned in Chapel from a famous Football Coach (And it wasn’t about sports)
By Joseph Knight,
Junior majoring in Business & Organizational Leadership
Coaches aren’t usually my thing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I often enjoy playing and watching sports. But when I heard that Coach Dave Roberts was speaking in Business Chapel I didn’t expect much more than a few game-time analogies, motivational one-liners, and famous quarterback references. All of these things are great in their own right, but I didn’t expect Roberts to differ much from the sports mold that I had come to expect from coaches. I mean, take a look at his resume: head football coach at Baylor University, Northeast Louisiana, and Western Kentucky University, named no. 1 recruiter in the country twice by Football Prep Report Magazine, and the coach of national stars such as 2018 Super Bowl Champion Head Coach Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles. How could a man with this kind of past not speak like a typical coach?
Turns out Coach Roberts didn’t tell a single game-time story or mention one quarterback. What Coach Roberts did talk about was “grinding” (or hard work), confidence, and talking to people. He credits these three things to his years of success at nationally prestigious coaching positions. After a quiet four years as a Western Carolina University linebacker, Roberts wanted to coach collegiately, so he mailed 400 letters to institutions across the country to find a position. Later in his career, Roberts coached at Davidson University and wanted to transition to a job at Northeast Louisiana University. After unsuccessfully contacting the head coach, he called the coach’s wife for 31 days until offered an interview and the head coach position. Roberts believes that confidence in pursuing personal goals within the parameters of ones’ skill-set are of the utmost importance.
What impacted me most from Roberts’ talk were his priorities as a businessman, including how much he cares for people. Now a retired coach, Roberts owns a medical emergency business called “Vital Care” in South Carolina. His business philosophy includes developing a caring relationship with people and honesty. He says when you make those a priority, people will come to you for business. This is an apt reminder to CIU business students to first be devoted to biblical servant principles and then to trust the Lord to sustain all else.
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