Football coach Urban Meyer won his last game this weekend vs. Penn State (in the Outback Bowl). He got a lot of accolades for winning, but maybe the loudest praise came from his family as he made the decision to step down from football (and one of the most prestigious coaching jobs in college) to be a better husband and father.
He said, “At the end of the day, I’m very convinced that you’re going to be judged on how you are as a a husband and as a father and not on how many bowl games we won. I’ve not seen my two girls play high school sports…I missed four years…I can’t get that time back….
He told The Times his daughter Nicki, 18, hugged him and said, “I get my daddy back.”
“I saw it as a sign from God that this was the right thing to do,” Meyer told The Times of his daughter’s reaction.
As bowl games heat up and big dollars are made by schools and coaches and players, Urban is walking away from millions to focus on his own family. From where I sit, it’s a totally commendable move. People who have coached and also been in ministry have told me that being a coach is very rough on the family and has a similar demand as ministry (as in it never stops). I wonder if there should be more leaders in ministry who follow his lead and walk away from a secure salary (granted, it would be thousands and not millions) so they can focus on their own family. Or, walk away from the unrealistic expectations that are placed on ministry leaders so their own kids don’t walk away from the church. I know that’s radical, but it’s those types of decisions that make a powerful difference.
What do you think?