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Playing for Dad

I’m often inspired by sports. Now before those

of you who don’t care for sports flip the page,

STOP. Because what I’m about to tell you goes

beyond stats and schedules. Sports often include

life lessons, heartwarming human interest and

motivational stories that can spur on all of us to


All you have to do is hang around the Moore

Fitness Center a little bit and chat with the athletes

and coaches to gain some inspiration. You may

recall that in the last edition of CIU Today I wrote

about CIU’s young Women’s Soccer Coach Kara

Farnsworth and how she worked hard in a short

period of time to recruit and organize the first

women’s soccer team in CIU history. That team went

on to a regular season record of 7-7-1, and played in

the nationals.

This edition’s inspiration comes from the men’s

soccer team where the seniors, who were the

first athletes four years ago to represent CIU in

intercollegiate competition, are about to graduate.

Among their leaders is Daniel Mallard. The

Greensboro, North Carolina native was the first

athlete to ever commit to be a CIU Ram, and after

four seasons, is the Rams leading scorer


page 22).

I chatted with Daniel for about an hour after the

regular season had ended days earlier. The last

match was “senior night” when the parents of the

seniors were recognized. Daniel

wanted very much for his father

to be there.

“There was a chance he was not

going to come and I was not

happy,” Daniel told me.

That’s because his father, David

Mallard, has been his inspiration

to play soccer.

Friends of the Mallard family

introduced Daniel to soccer in

third grade as a distraction. His father had brain

cancer and a three percent chance of making it

through surgery. And even if he lived through the

surgery, he was told he didn’t have much chance of

surviving the heavy doses of chemo.


Bob Holmes, Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor are welcome.

Correspondence must include

your name, address and phone

number. The editor reserves the

right to determine the suitability

of letters for publication and to

edit for clarity and length. There

is no guarantee your letter will

be published, nor will letters be

returned. Write to:

CIU Today Editor

Columbia International University

7435 Monticello Road

Columbia, SC 29203

Or e-mail

Daniel Mallard with his father

David and mother Michelle, as

Daniel holds a team photo on

senior night.

“In a way I was playing for my dad in third

grade,” Daniel recalls.

The surgery would leave his dad with

short-term memory loss. He would also

have to give up his role as lead pastor at

a large church in Greensboro.

“He was great at his job as a shepherding

pastor,” Daniel said. “He could do

theological circles around anyone. And

then God said, ‘No I’m not going to let

you (pastor) anymore.’”

Daniel’s father became his spiritual role


“That’s one of the biggest examples to

me of putting your faith in God,” Daniel

continued. “God took everything away

from him and my dad said, ‘I’m still going

to trust in you.’ It’s unbelievable. It’s

unbelievable. He loves God. He never

stopped loving God. That was amazing

to me.”

And that’s why Daniel wanted dad to be

at that last game of his collegiate career.

“I’m thankful that I have a dad. I’m

thankful that God still allowed him to be

in my life.”

Thank you, Mallard family for the


Bob Holmes

CIU Today




CIU Today

Winter 2016