Welcome Back, Bill

(re-post from Tuesday, September 16, 2008)

From 1994 to 1997 I was on the staff of Promise Keepers. It was clearly an incredible experience. I often tell others that I received 10 years of ministry experience in 3 years. That is really not an exaggeration. During that time I had the privilege of meeting some amazing leaders and one of them was Coach Bill McCartney.

Granted, Bill and I did not see “eye to eye” on everything. After all he was the coach for the Colorado Buffalo’s and I was, am and will always be a true football fan and cheer for our beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The area that Bill and I did …… and always will agree on is the need for men to be Godly men.
In the short time that I was on staff at PK, I got to know Bill as a ministry leader, man and friend. When I wrote the book, Men of Honor Women of Virtue, I included a story of Bill and our son Courtney. Here is an excerpt from the my book…….
“A Special Coach”

“In 1994 I joined the staff of Promise Keepers and had the privilege of meeting Bill McCartney, who was then still the head football coach at the University of Colorado. During my first few years on staff, Bill continued coaching and, as his schedule would permit, spoke at various PK events. I met him on several occasions, but it wasn’t until after he became the president of PK and worked from the national offices that I actually got to know him. On several occasions when I saw Bill, I had both my sons with me. And each time I gave them the opportunity to say hello to the man who had become my friend. What I didn’t realize was that, over time, they came to consider him their own friend. To this day, if they’re in the same location, they’ll seek him out and speak with him.

One Saturday morning in the spring of 1996 I took Chad and Courtney to the PK office with me. We were sitting in my office area when Bill walked by and said hello to all three of us. We talked for a few minutes, and then he continued on to his office. After a few minutes my younger son, Courtney, who was in sixth grade at the time, told me he was going to Coach’s office to talk to him about something. I was somewhat concerned because I knew Bill wasn’t coming to the office on a Saturday morning just to sit there and wait to see who stopped by to visit with him. Since I wanted to be respectful of his time, I cautioned Courtney not to stay too long. He looked back and gave me a smile, as if to say, “I’m going to see my friend—not yours.”

As time passed I became increasingly concerned, until Courtney finally came around the corner. He immediately asked me to stop by Bill’s office on Monday because Bill’s administrative assistant would have a package for him. Unaware of what had just transpired, I asked Courtney what I was going to be picking up for him. He looked at me and matter-of-factly said, “Coach is loaning me the jacket and hat he wore for the last college game he coached.”
I must have had a puzzled look on my face because Courtney (out of kindness) went on to explain that he was giving a book report at school on Coach’s autobiography, From Ashes to Glory. The teacher was requiring the students to dress the part of the person they had chosen as the subject of their book report. Bill McCartney was a major figure in Colorado at the time. He probably could have run for governor and been elected by a landslide. Imagine a sixth grader standing before his class and giving a report about the football coach who had led the Colorado Buffaloes to a national championship! Now imagine that sixth grader wearing the jacket and hat the coach had worn in his last game. I’m not sure Courtney even needed to give the book report! To say Bill McCartney was an encourager to my sons, and on this occasion specifically to my younger son, would be similar to announcing that the sun is hot.”
It was with great joy that I saw that Bill was returning to Promise Keepers as the CEO and Chairman of the Board. http://www.promisekeepers.org/
Promise Keepers has been clearly used by God to touch men and change lives. I pray that God will continue to use PK to build Godly men….. Men who can be counted on and trusted by their families, communities and this nation.
Welcome back, Bill

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