John Keating

Episode 51

20 JAN 2020

The head coach of the men’s soccer team at Belmont Abbey, a Catholic college in North Carolina.  He played pro soccer in South Africa and captained West Virginia University men’s soccer.  He is going into his tenth year at Belmont Abbey and had successful coaching stops at a couple other schools along the way.  He is a Benedictine oblate and at one point he even headed up the Catholic Defense League of Nebraska.

Guest quotes:

“I found that as the assistant athletic director (at Warren Wilson College) and soccer coach, that my faith came under attack in significant ways, being arguably the only pro-lifer, or, conservative, shall we say, on campus.  The net result was that I did not have answers for the accusations.  And, ended up learning more about my faith in that three-year span as a way to defend my faith than I had in the previous twenty-something years.”

“If you learn to be obedient, then the path is often pretty clear.”

“In addition to working with the Omaha (soccer) club, I was also working for the Catholic Defense League of Nebraska, defending the civil rights and religious rights of Catholics through the Midwest.”

“I sent in the most rudimentary of resumes and it basically said, ‘I am a Catholic who happens to be a soccer coach.  If you’re looking for a soccer coach who happens to be Catholic I’m not your guy.  But if it’s the other way around, please read on.”

“(the job at Belmont Abbey) presented itself to me as an apostolate.”

“Certainly it’s great to see the Holy Spirit working in the lives of young men.”

“Everybody knows the Our Father, so that’s kind of why we started with that and that’s what we do before every game, in the huddle, everybody involved.”

“The college itself, the broadcasting unit, will also do a prayer before the game that blesses, ya’ know, asks the Lord to bless the game and help through injuries and bless our opponents and the referees and spectators and so on and so on.”

Related link:

John Keating Belmont Abbey bio

(This episode contains a prayer adapted from one by an unknown Confederate Soldier, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)