Mormon coaches and callings: How they balance serving in the church with pressure-filled profession

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  • iNKSpot Wilsonville, OR
    Aug. 24, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    I remember when LaVell Edwards was assistant head football coach and my wife's bishop at BYU. He was always up at the dorm, meeting with and counseling the students. I understand that he usually handled head coaching responsibilities much like a bishop: Delegating the football end of things to his coordinators and assistants and dealing with the critical issues in the lives of his players directly.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    Hahaha, being a coach to a bunch of guys throwing a football around is supposed to be pressure.

    Try working on things that actually have a real impact to the world, geez.

  • Go2 Utah, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    Our high school coaches are LDS and swear and are vulgar and cruel in the locker room and on the field. The LDS parents just ignore it saying it's just 'part of the sports culture.' And the coaches attend Church as if there is 'a separation between sports life and Church life.' It even happens at BYU folks. Intense sports devotion/competition seems to bring out the worst in many a man.

  • TheGreatPAC12 Salt Lake City, 00
    Aug. 21, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    Old But Not Stupid

    He needs to first be an assistant. He needs to learn the ropes of the PAC12, ease into it, before heading up a program in Thee Conference of Champions

    Proud PAC12 member

  • Giga Watt PROVO, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:01 p.m.

    Just curious, why no mention of coach Whitt in the article? He's LDS and I'm pretty sure his position has more pressure on him than most of the people mentioned here, and I'd be curious to get his perspective on things. Coach Mendenhall is mentioned about half a dozen times, which is fine I guess, but I forget- this is the D-News...

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 3:08 p.m.


    "Coach Niumatalolo would make a great assistant coach to Whittingham."

    Actually he'd be a great replacement for Whit. I've enjoyed watching the "gutty, little Middies" either beat or scare the other independent, Notre Dame. Has Whit done either?

  • TheGreatPAC12 Salt Lake City, 00
    Aug. 21, 2014 2:42 p.m.

    Coach Niumatalolo would make a great assistant coach to Whittingham. What a great opportunity it would be for him to coach in the PAC12

    Go Utes!
    Go PAC12

  • H-man Shreveport, LA
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    To those of you bagging on Incite Full:

    You need to get your TIC meters calibrated. TIC--tongue in cheek--get it? There is no way he was trying to equate coaching a U-8 soccer team to the job of a college, professional, or even high school coach. He was having fun spoofing the whole idea of how demanding coaching can be. He dangled a line and some of you swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

  • CodyCougar Madison, SD
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    I'm in the stake presidency in my area--I probably spend about 20 hours a week on assignments/visits/interviews/travel, etc. I coach a middle school boys traveling team in the winter and little league baseball in the summer. I miss alot of games/concerts events for my own kids, but I make many others--they don't seem any worse for the wear--in fact they are state champs and college recruits (one on a mission). I have a salaried professional job, and the hours are never 40/week. I just do it, and don't think it's anything special that I do--I just feel grateful to be with so many great people in the our stake.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    "I'm curious. Are there no other pressure-filled professions occupied by LDS men and women? If not, that would justify a multiple page article on Mormon coaches. If there are other pressure-filled professions, wonder how or why coaching was the profession selected."

    "Good thing the rest of us don't have demanding jobs and pressure filled lives that we all somehow have to balance. Good grief."

    Gosh and andy-
    I found this article via the SPORTS link. With football season coming on and not much SPORTS to print for the next 9 days you're surprised about a DNews article about Mormon coaches?

    Further, the article did not denigrate any other jobs or make fun of pressure filled lives with which the general public gets to deal.

    I'm surprised that you invested the time to read the piece and then awed that you wasted your valuable time commenting.

    Goodness gracious sakes alive! as Coach Wooden used to his version of profanity.

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    Maybe the title of the article should have included the words "High Profile" in the description. That would make a bit more sense. I can think of many more "pressure filled" professions than being a football coach, after all their jobs are just about a game. While it may be pressure filled, usually no one loses their life playing football.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    Good article,

    The face of college football and coaches with a Christian foundation is growing. Years ago, recruiting visits were full of keg parties and strippers. Other than BYU, there weren't many options for Christian/ LDS kids to play that had a healthy influence. Thanks to Ron McBride, that all changed. Now all the states schools are loaded with LDS coaches and returned missionaries. And they're winning. Gary Anderson told me there wasn't a successful program in the state of Utah who had less than 18 returned missionaries on the team. Utah State had 26 at the time.
    I love football. I love that I had two children who have full ride scholarships to play D-1 FB and they can earn their own way without mom and dad as a crutch. I am grateful that their are coached by men like Gary Anderson, Ed Lamb, Justin Ena, Steve Clark, etc. Not only have they learned to be good FB players, but learned to be good students, and men as well.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Good thing the rest of us don't have demanding jobs and pressure filled lives that we all somehow have to balance. Good grief.

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    I'm curious. Are there no other pressure-filled professions occupied by LDS men and women? If not, that would justify a multiple page article on Mormon coaches. If there are other pressure-filled professions, wonder how or why coaching was the profession selected.

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    Coaching at any level is admirable, but no, coaching a U-8 soccer team (which I have done) is nothing like coaching at Babe Ruth, high school, college, or the professional level ... not even remotely. I have coached over 25 teams from young children to adult levels, and many in between. But the demands expand tremendously, the more competitive the team / league are.

    I concur that our society has placed sports at a level that is beyond reason. That having been said, my hat goes off to a Coach N at Navy (despite my West Point leanings), or any of the others who keep their priorities in line, and make time to fulfill what they believe to be their duty. That is precisely what is asked of those who receive "callings", and when they respond properly, it is delightful to see.

  • djofraleigh raleigh, NC
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Being a coach...whoa and wow, like, being a parent of four with one in diapers is not pressure! Parents work and serve and parent. The home comes first. Come on. Sports is a game with no real consequence beyond entertainment and personal pride. If the coaches have too much pressure, then they allow it, so get more assistants or just don't care after doing your best. Take care of the players, make them students first, athletes second. As for pro sports, remember the Sabbath and keep it sporty.

    Aug. 21, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    Incite Full
    Layton, UT

    Your not being for reals right now right? U-8 girls soccer is not NFL or Division 1, these are there jobs, do you do limited work when your at work? My guess is no, you probably do what your suppose to, and that's exactly what these guys do.

  • Southernmiss kaysville, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Defensive Coordinator and recruiter for Stanford is Lance Anderson. He's a great example of dedication to church and family!

  • Incite Full Layton, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    I'm a Mormon and a Coach, and honestly these guys just need to change their priorities. All this intense work for coaching as if it takes precedence over their spiritual duties is ridiculous. I spend maybe ten minutes prepping for my U-8 Soccer Team's practice. Sometimes I'll go to the AYSO website and watch a video on how to do drills, but most of it is simple creativity. And my players know that I care because I show up at the games.

    Five pages to describe how tough it is? Meh. Just simplify, man!