Assistant football coach follows God’s will, plan

‘Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established’

FootballCoach

Courtesy Photo/ The Bison 

Assistant football coach Greg Gothard.

Kaleigh Reynolds

Contributing Writer

Football has always been a part of assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Greg Gothard’s life.

At a young age, he said he knew God would give him the abilities to lead others in the way He intended.

“In eighth grade, I knew that God was calling me to be a coach,” Gothard said.

Gothard said he was a proud native of Kingston Oklahoma, and from there, he headed to Southeastern Oklahoma state in 1985 where he received his bachelor of science degree.

“In 1984, I went back to Kingston to the school I graduated from to be a student assistant, and that’s where my coaching career started.”

Gothard said he met his wife and was then officially hired and married in 1985.

Before joining the OBU staff in 2014, Gothard spent 25 years at Velma -Alma High school; 16 of those years he took the role as a head coach, and nine of those years was spent as a defensive coordinator.

He discussed his most rewarding coaching moments. “There are two forms of gratification,” he said.

“Instant gratification is when a player gets a skill they have been working toward, and you get to celebrate that with them. Sweetest gratification is when a former player reaches out to me and tell me how much of an impact I have had on their lives.”

Gothard said he doesn’t attempt to “control” his players or other coaches.

Instead, he gives the coaches room to lead the way God intended them to.

He also gives the players the space to just be human.

He said he knows that no player is going to walk on that field and be perfect at everything.

“[But] we praise them when they need praising and correct them when they need correcting.”

All coaches, Gothard said, wants his or her team to be one, a unit; he/she truly wants them to love one another and be selfless.

He said the coaching experience is really all about the relationship built between the coaches and their players, and modeling Christly living for his young charges.

“Living life in front of them, we can share the gospel to them but living for Christ in front of them is the most impactful.”

Some of his players have said that the coach is truly present in those moments where it matters most to them.

“Gothard is a great coach and a good mentor both on and off the field,” junior health performance major and offensive linemen Lincoln Adams said.

“He is a great Godly leader and is someone who wants to help us grow not only on the field but into becoming men.”

Gothard and his wife Leslie witnessed Lincoln give his life to Christ earlier this year when he was baptized at Life Church in Shawnee.

The coach said he does his best to hold himself to a high standard, knowing that no one is perfect.

He strives to be like David, a man after God’s own heart.

This is a man who endeavors to pour into his players, support them in every aspect and make sure they know they are loved.

“Gothard makes us want to be better in all that we do,” senior health performance major Kyle Townsend said.

“He has always looked out for his players on and off the field and treats us like sons.”

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