Friday, January 7, 2011

coached by the coach - lessons from Bronco Mendenhall

Every Friday the Orem Institute of Religion has devotionals. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't. Actually lets be honest here, most of the time I don't. But when they announced that Bronco Mendenhall was going to give the devo, I felt that if anybody could whoop me into any sort of shape, a football coach would be the one to do it.

And boy, I had no clue how badly I needed this big bad football coach to whoop me into spiritual shape! You know, nothing is quite more intimidating then a football coach telling you what is what.

The Man who put me through a spiritual workout - Bronco Mendenhall
The spiritual workout included first the facts:
  • When he got married he was 31 and his wife was 30 (by Utah's standards, she was an old maid like me! Woot, there is hope).
  • Entering into marriage meant $250,000 of debt because she had to sell her travel business in order for them to be together.
  • They lived off of ramon noodles while he rode his bike to work because as you know, biking is free and gas costs $.
  • When he got the chance to interview for the coaching job at BYU, he wasn't their first pick. BYU really wanted a different coach but were denied.
  • His first day on the field, the BYU stadium of fans booed him for an extensive amount of time and he felt like a failure.
  • The whole time he was going through adversity, he felt like he was growing closer to Heavenly Father
What He Did About Adversity:
  • He remembered how when Henry B. Eyring interviewed him, he asked him one question, "Is the church true?" Instead of talking about football stats and accomplishments, he realized that coaching football for BYU was a spiritual journey, not a temporal one.
  • Coach Mendenhall approached coaching football saying that, "All that BYU football is, is just a vehicle to bring members of the human race to Jesus Christ." If he had the opportunity to tell ESPN about what BYU is all about, then he has done good.
  • When Coach Mendenhall took on BYU, they were in a 4 year losing streak. Instead of placing all of the focus on the game, he focused on the spirituality and grades of his athletes, knowing that once they were strong in the basics, they would be a strong team. He held devotionals before the games. He encouraged good grades. BYU quickly had the highest GPA for all football players across the nation. With this increase in spirituality and grades, a miracle happened. A team that had been through a huge losing streak started to have huge success.
  • He said, a miracle happens when good people who have their priorities right do the best they can. BYU winning games for him was a miracle.
  • Bronco Mendenhall decided to have the team leave the MWC so that more publicity would come when games were shown on ESPN, once again to expose the world to BYU and who we are.
My point for telling you all of this:

Bronco Mendenhall seriously has his priorities right. BYU football is not more important then his family, his membership in the church, and his integrity. Once he placed God first, BYU football fell into place and he was successful.

Lastly, I leave this blog today with a video of Coach Mendenhall and BYU football team supporting my dear friend Brigham Larkin who has down syndrome. I see Brigham every day on UTA riding to school and I sort of watch out for him. He has told me about this experience quite a few times and here I will share it with you so that you can see the goodness coming from this team:

1 comment:

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Even though I am a die hard Utes fan... this was pretty cool :) Thanks for sharing!