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Bobby Bowden Message

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I went to two of the Nike COY clinics this year and got to attend some nice sessions. While my preference would be to have been at the SW conclave etc circumstances didnt line up. This isnt in the proper folder, because there wasnt one for it, but I felt very strongly convicted to share what I heard.

Bobby Bowden was the keynote speaker today. Along with his usual circuit stories and jokes he spoke from his heart. He was sincere and pained when he spoke. He mentioned all the messed up kids he gets these days, so much different than in the past. He said most of the kids he gets now days are raised my moms, not by men. He said most have never had anyone tell them no. He said they are so lost, even as great athletes and big men on campus they are so lost. They try to fill the void in their lives with many things, alcohol, drugs, sex, power, money, status, relationships but so many of them are miserable because they are trying to fill a void that can only be filled by Christ and Christ alone. He says FCA has been such a huge blessing for his program, so many of his kids have been turned around completely by coming to a relationshio with the Lord. The anger, the guilt, the huge hole gets filled and is just a huge weight lifted from ones shoulders. Once the kids that dont have Christ living in them, come to a saving relationship with Him it is night and day he told us. He also shared what it blessing it was to have the Lord by his side though his ups and downs. He and Tom Osborne both start every coaches meeting with a devotional, we are going to do that this year instead of just our base short prayer.

He begged coaches to get FCA involved in their program and turn their programs over to be run by the Book, the good book. HE rightfully told us that many of us that coach in difficult areas that we are in a huge position to influence kids, because they have no male role models, or the few they do have are rap stars or drug dealers. It is a huge responsibility that requires diligence, the kids are watching every move. We have been overt in our program but Im convinced we should be more so and plan on getting FCA deeply involved in our program.

Tyrone Willingham had about the same thing to say 3 weeks ago and Tom Osborne has been saying the same thing for years. Seeing those guys speak with such conviction and being so sure and at such Peace was quite inspirational to me. None of those guys mentioned wins they talked about influencing young men for eternity. Thats how I want to coach and be remembered for. Ive never heard any of those 3 use a bad word or say anything negative about anyone, and golly Willingham may have reason to speak otherwise, BTW he takes responsibilty for every loss on his shoulders alone. Im not a ND or Washington fan but golly Im a big Tyrone Willingham fan now, he was a 5'9" 139 lb walk on QB at Michigan State BTW. Got a chance to talk to coach Bowden, for about 2 minutes, what a nice person and Im no big FSU guy either. I pride myself on never getting uptight on the game field just like those guys and never raising my voice there, want to make sure that happens on the practice field as well this year amoung a few other small but important changes.

Our program has seen over 400 boys out of maybe 2500 make a decision for Christ, but we really laxed in our efforts last year. We were missing it this last year, it wasnt #1 priority and it showed in several of my Omaha teams. We have a church helping us out with manpower and coaches for the first time as of 1/1/07 and I feel real good about how that all came together today after listening to one of the all time greats. Man is he short, If I get up to 77 Im probebly gonna be like 5 feet tall, I towered over him and Im a very short 5'9" LOL.

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