Bruce Scifres

Episode 152

27 DEC 2021

The executive director of CYO for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis where he oversees 24 thousand youth and seven thousand adult volunteers. He spent 27 years as the head football coach of the ten-time state champion Royals at Roncalli High School, a co-ed Catholic high school in Indianapolis. He led the program to seven Indiana football state championships and was named Coach of the Year twelve times. He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame and in 2017 was the recipient of the prestigious National Football Foundation “Distinguished American Award.”  After a successful football career at Butler University, he attended training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Guest quotes:

“My parents were very good about instilling solid faith formation and foundation in our life.”

“I did have a relationship with God (in college) and I think it goes back to family upbringing and, yes, God was always very much part of my life.”

“I found myself… really just, there was a void.  There was something missing in my life, something missing in my heart that took me a while to put my finger on it.  But, yeah, there was a void after I left Roncalli High School, yes.”

“The four priorities I always set for our staff… Priority number one was faith formation, first and foremost… Priority number two, character development… Priority number three was we wanted them obviously to get a great education, a great Catholic school education… And then priority number four was to have fun with the kids and teach ’em how to play a game and help them become great athletes and great football players and hopefully to win games in the process.  And I grew to believe over the years that if the first three… were in place and the kids bought into that they were going to be good football players.”

“Without question our number one job as coaches at a Catholic school was to help the young men we served get to heaven.”

“I believe that the platform of athletics is so powerful in teaching life lessons to young people. It’s life changing, really.”

“One of my favorite sayings… is ‘A good coach will improve a player’s game.  A great coach will improve a player’s life’.”

“People talk about the unfair advantages that Catholic schools have… To me, that advantage is that sense of playing for a higher purpose beyond just themselves, playing to thank God for the countless gifts that we’ve been given.”

“My personal mission statement that I wrote was, ‘My mission is to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God so that I might make my parents, wife, children, and extended family proud.  I want to make it to heaven and ultimately bring as many people with me as I can along the way’.”

“I firmly believe that there’s two things we can do to improve our faith connection with God.  One is to pray everyday… the other is to connect with other people of faith.”

“Our oldest won was in second grade, and he and I received Communion at the same Mass for the first time for both of us, on the same Sunday, and it was powerful… And… still today, every time, every Sunday, that I receive Communion, it’s still powerful.”

Related links:

“Coaching for Christ” short film
Cincinnati Men’s Conference in April 2022

(This episode contains a prayer from the National Catholic Coaches Association‘s “The Leadership Papers,” although originally credited in there to The Coach’s Bible.)