Evangel Profile

John Griffin: Head men’s soccer coach

September 28, 2015

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” Ecclesiastes 9:10. Head men’s soccer coach John Griffin would rather his players use their feet, but one of his favorite verses still applies. 

Griffin was chosen to lead the men’s program through their first season in more than 40 years, and with a tough conference schedule, Griffin will have to follow his own advice to build a successful program. 

He played collegiately at East Texas Baptist University and coached at Culver-Stockton College prior to joining Evangel. 

What did you know about Evangel before joining the Athletic Department?

First, I knew that Evangel was a strong, Christian university that held high standards and valued God’s word.  Second, I knew it had a good athletic department. I coached in the conference last year and knew Evangel was competitive in several sports. So, I was very excited to learn that Evangel was starting a soccer program.

What did playing college soccer mean in your life?

It meant being able to play the sport I love at a high level. I also learned that I am not in control and that God is. I suffered some bad injuries as a player. I really only had one good year where I played at my best, but that year was wonderful. The Lord used soccer to humble me and make me realize that His plans are above my own.

What is your favorite aspect of coaching?

Seeing the players and grow and develop and improve in every area of their lives.

How do you go about uniting and strengthening a brand new team?

Unity is something that doesn’t just happen. It must be nurtured and developed. In our opening meeting, I emphasized that we need to build each other up in as many ways as we can. Also, we have done a little bit of team bonding, and I hope to do a lot more in the future.

What’s should the Evangel community know about you?

I want my athletes to do two things:

  • Strive for constant improvement
  • and know God through His word.

Neither comes easy. Both require hard work and a dedicated mentality that is tough to develop. In the end, high standards lead people to high achievement. As my father always used to say: “Rough weather makes good timber.”

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