Changing Lives... One Season at a Time



I am always inspired by the testimonies of coaches who are giving their lives for the good of young people.

Coach Todd Naumann is one such coach. May his words challenge you to dig deeper and coach from your heart.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
72 Virtues to Help You Coach Virtue


Coach Todd Naumann

As a coach of many years I have come to recognize the value athletics can play in the life of a young person. Each season presents an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities. Our players bring with them their hopes, dreams, successes, and failures. The season always plays itself out as a microcosm of our own lives. There are going to be tremendous victories, stunning defeats, and many lessons to be learned along the way. The gift of the season is so precious because it allows us to play the game while at the same time preparing ourselves for the more important game of life.


I am a football coach at Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati Ohio. It is a Catholic school of some 600 students. The football team has had moderate success over the years, but has never been the dominant force in the area. Recently the program has seen an uptick in victories with a state final four appearance three years ago as well as the winning of a league title and a playoff appearance last year. The team is positioned well in the standings again this year. One of the recent changes Head Coach Mike Orlando brought to the table was to align the football team with the Sports Leader program. This commitment to putting the well-being of our athletes first has made a resoundingly positive impact on our team.



Last year, in the midst of winning a league title and making a playoff appearance we had some players get off track. Poor choices off the field ended in dismissal for some from the team. As a result, these young men learned a terribly important lesson... there are consequences for your behavior. We are all members of a family and our selfish decisions can have a negative impact on those around us. These young men did not finish the season with us, but were given the opportunity to rejoin the team in the off-season and prove they had made the positive changes necessary to become the men the God had created them to be.


That Youth May Attain Full Stature in Christ. Bringing Faith to Sports.

As the days past by and the long, hard off-season came to an end, the journey of a new football season began. Unsure of our senior leadership, there was plenty of anxiety heading into this year’s campaign. Athletic talent has never been the trademark of our football team and it appeared quickly this year would be no different. However, heart, determination, and love would soon abound. What I discovered through this season’s journey is that our team’s foundation was being built around a couple of key seniors that had not even finished the season with us last year.


The 2013 McNicholas Rockets Football Team

I can’t describe the feeling of personally witnessing a group of young boys become men! To watch them grow up before your very eyes is just incredible. Through the trials and tribulations of the season, with solid mentoring, attending weekly Mass, the saying of many prayers, and good old fashioned hard work, boys that were struggling at this time last season have become the bedrock of this year’s team. This past weekend, one of these young men had the privilege of representing our football team as a captain. To see him walk onto the field and represent his teammates made my heart burst with joy.


Father-Son Jersey Night Ceremony

I don’t want to overstate the significance of sports in our society, because I believe that sports are often overemphasized. Many times we are presented with the win at all-cost mentality that leads to the destruction of young people, not to their betterment. I do however want to testify to the beauty of God’s redemptive grace through athletics. Sports are given to us as a gift to help transform the lives of our student-athletes for eternity. The growth of our young men this season has reinforced for me what I believe to be the very best about athletics. These experiences make a difference well beyond any win or loss. They allow us as coaches to guide our youth to success far beyond their wildest imagination as they uncover the virtues that the Lord has placed deep within their hearts. Courage, Mercy, Humility, and Faithfulness have been on full display this season with the Rockets, and I am sure blessed to be a part of it!

Todd Naumann