Chris Ledyard

Episode 08

25 MAR 2019

Inducted into the Sports Faith Hall of Fame in 2015, the next year he became the Athletic Director at JSerra Catholic High School after more than 20 years at the helm of the athletic program at Franciscan University. Before that he was a Catholic high school vice principal. Married with six children, he was a college athlete (wrestler at Ithaca College) and has coached track and field, soccer, and wrestling.

Guest Quotes:

“I was at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and I really felt the call from the Lord to go there after being a high school vice principal for six years.”

“I was the token Christian dude on the wrestling team.  And I really didn’t know how to act.  It was very difficult to stay in the faith, keep the faith, amongst people who thought my faith was silly and that it was kind of a joke.”

“I know that that was the Lord… preparing my heart for the reason that I wanted to begin talking to the administration at Franciscan about, ‘Hey, we should bring sports in, so when there’s a kid coming out of high school who really wants to be surrounded by people of like sports in the faith and still have a strong athletic experience in college, we should create a home for that person’.”

“(my brother) said, ‘If you don’t know your Creator, you don’t have anything’… A few days later I literally was in a room by myself and I started to seek Christ again.”

“I had a very deep personal experience at that particular point where it literally felt as if God was pouring water over my head.  I didn’t know that I was dirty and I certainly didn’t know why I was crying.  But, I knew that something cleansing was happening to me… God made Himself real to me.”

“The tough times were driven by the fact that I knew that God was real and that I needed to continue to move forward.”

“When you talk about… the integration of sports and faith… I can’t separate them.”

“When I hire new coaches, I literally say to those coaches, ‘I’m looking for coaches I can comfortably pray with’.”

“For 18 weeks I’ve been in a Bible study with coaches where we’re going through Acts together and we’re literally praying daily that the Holy Spirit guides us in our relationships with these athletes.”

Related link:

JSerra Catholic High School Athletics

(This episode contains a prayer from the South Bend Indiana Inner-City Catholic League, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)

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