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Episodes2020-02-28T04:22:15-05:00

CSR 115 Barry Dean

Barry Dean Episode 115 12 APR 2021 The President and Executive Director of the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association for more than 20 years, AND he is the President of the Association of Catholic Coaches and Athletes, which he formed ten

CSR 114 Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki Episode 114 5 APR 2021 The Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He has run 24 marathons in 17 cities, three of those in Europe. He is nicknamed “the holy goalie” for — to

CSR 113 Stacie Tovar

Stacie Tovar Episode 113 29 MAR 2021 An eight-time CrossFit Games competitor. In college she had been a volleyball player at the University of Nebraska Omaha, following a high school career that saw her compete in both volleyball and track. 

CSR 112 Patrick Doerr

Patrick Doerr Episode 112 22 MAR 2021 He grew up playing basketball but is known for tennis, having been a two-time regional champion, two-time all-state selection, and a state semi-finalist all in just his junior year of high school alone

CSR 111 Glenn Otto

Glenn Otto Episode 111 15 MAR 2021 A pitcher currently in training camp with the New York Yankees, having been a fifth-round pick of theirs in the 2017 draft.  In college he pitched at Rice University in Houston, leading the

CSR 110 Paul Westhead

Paul Westhead Episode 110 8 MAR 2021 The only coach to win a championship in the NBA and the WNBA. Over a career that spanned more than 40 years, he was the head coach of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers,

CSR 109 Gabby Otto

Gabby Otto Episode 109 1 MAR 2021 She played college basketball at Rice University, where her team won the Women’s Basketball Invitational Championship four years ago this month.  One year later they made it to the second round of the

CSR 115 Barry Dean2021-04-11T23:45:18-04:00

Barry Dean

Episode 115

12 APR 2021

The President and Executive Director of the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association for more than 20 years, AND he is the President of the Association of Catholic Coaches and Athletes, which he formed ten years ago. He played, coached, and umpired baseball at the collegiate level and at one point even traveled to England, Germany, Brazil, and Nicaragua as a Major League Baseball International Envoy (Diplomat) Coach to teach and promote baseball.  During this interview he also mentions having a brother who is a priest.

Guest quotes:

“I remember being a bat boy on St. Bede’s — St. Bede’s Catholic Church where I attend now — I was a bat boy for (my dad’s) team, and my two older brothers played on it.  And that was, one of the fondest pictures I have on my wall, is my dad and my two older brothers and myself in our uniforms.”

“I asked… ‘Can we have Mass celebrated, and I’ll get the priest, just get me the room in the hotel’ … They got me the room, I got the priest… and the wheels started spinning of having, forming an association.”

“I’ve woven a lot more ministry into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association.”

“I’m blessed to live in Sweet Home Alabama.  That is more a faith — it’s obviously kind of the center of the Bible belt, kind of the buckle of the Bible belt, as they say.”

“I say… it’s for your future success that I’m more worried about, not as baseball players but as husbands and fathers.”

“I pray before our events.  I pray before our board meeting.  And I will do other things around the country and I hope and pray that I would not back down if I was getting pushback.”

“It makes you want to go to confession instead of… running from confession.”

“The Holy Spirit was just absolutely working me overtime.”

“It’s not the church… it’s not the priests, it’s the Eucharist, it’s the sacraments, wherever you are, wherever we are, and that’s the blessing we have as Catholics.”

Related link:

Association of Catholic Coaches and Athletes

[This episode contains a prayer from the Play Like A Champion Today Coaches Manual (University of Notre Dame), as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport]
CSR 114 Bishop Thomas John Paprocki2021-04-04T18:47:18-04:00

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Episode 114

5 APR 2021

The Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He has run 24 marathons in 17 cities, three of those in Europe. He is nicknamed “the holy goalie” for — to this day — continuing to play that position in hockey.  In 2013 he was inducted into the Sports Faith International Hall of Fame.  He has just put out a brand-new book called, “Running for a Higher Purpose: 8 Steps to Spiritual and Physical Fitness,” which follows a book he had previously written called, “Holy Goals for Body & Soul: 8 Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith.”

Guest quotes:

“I’m from a large family.  I’m the third of nine children.  There are seven boys in my family and so we sort of had our own built-in sports teams.  There was always someone to play with.”

“It seemed a lot of my early life was centered around sports and faith, and that’s kind of interesting how that’s panned out later with the books I’ve written about the connection between sports and faith.”

“I was only about four years old, my mother said I was starting to talk about wanting to be a priest.”

“There were about five thousand of us runners and we gathered in St. Peter’s Square.  And the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, gave the Noon Angelus, as he usually did from his apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.  And then he gave a blessing… for all the marathon runners and then he said… ‘Have a good marathon’.”

“We should treat our bodies with respect, and we should take care of them because this is a gift to us from God’s creation.”

“When I’m running, I have a little finger rosary with ten beads on each string, and I’m saying the rosary while I’m running.”

“We might think, ‘Well, saints are holy people that you read about in books.’  I’ve actually met a couple saints, so it’s very personal for me.  I had the good fortune of meeting Saint John Paul II several times… Then also had the opportunity while I was living in Rome to meet Mother Teresa.  I used to say Mass for her community, the Missionaries of Charity, at their convent, San Gregorio, behind the Colosseum in Rome.”

“Those good habits in both our physical and spiritual lives are what lead us then to this sense of seeking oneness or unity with God.”

“I think we have to take a longer view of things, that when we’re confronted with something that’s not going right or that we’re discouraged with it, to have trust in God and to just believe that we should, again, be consistent and we should stick to it.  That we have to be confident that God will see us through this, and His goodness and His grace will overcome all of these evils in the end.”

Related link:

Bishop Paprocki’s two books

CSR 113 Stacie Tovar2021-03-28T18:51:10-04:00

Stacie Tovar

Episode 113

29 MAR 2021

An eight-time CrossFit Games competitor. In college she had been a volleyball player at the University of Nebraska Omaha, following a high school career that saw her compete in both volleyball and track.  Today she is the owner of both CrossFit Omaha and Go Far Fitness.

Guest quotes:

“I went to a Catholic school and the school, because of the size of the community, it’s (kindergarten) through (twelfth grade).”

“I played nearly every other weekend, either the organ or the piano, funerals, I played in weekly Masses or when it was Saints’ Day or just a special circumstance I played for the school.”

“I loved (altar) serving.  Actually, in the eighth grade I was (Altar) Server of the Year and I was so proud of that accomplishment.”

“One of my favorite Biblical verses is ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’.  And that’s something that I’ve carried with me, I guess, through childhood and even into my adult life as a competitive athlete.”

“My heart has always told me, ‘You love to serve.  You love health.  You love wellness.  You love quality of life.  You love fitness.  You love to be physically active.  You love sports.  You love Christ.  Help people’!”

“I knew that this was what the Lord wanted me to do.  And, I trusted in Him, that He was gonna get the job done for me.  And, turns out, I ended up landing on so many sponsorships and wonderful partnerships that led me to where I am today.”

“You start to doubt in your faith and second guess ‘What are you doing,’ and, turned out to be, of course, of course it was, the Lord blessed me with the best year of my life.”

“I… talked to God many times in the middle of the afternoon after my training sessions.  I would just walk into church and sit down on the bench and, ya’ know, ‘God, thanks, ya’ know.  Thanks for everything you’re doing for me.  And, I love you!’  And, He blessed me beyond measure.”

“God called me back to truly find my passion and led me to this moment, and it would be a disservice of me, it would be super selfish of me, not to share everything that I’ve learned and continue to help.”

“I felt the Lord’s presence in that moment, just like, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you, Lord, for bringing me here.  Thank you for giving me the breath of life to do this trail, for giving me the ability to run this trail, and for all these kids’.”

Related link:

Stacie’s official website

(This episode contains a prayer by Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R., as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)
CSR 112 Patrick Doerr2021-03-21T22:19:05-04:00

Patrick Doerr

Episode 112

22 MAR 2021

He grew up playing basketball but is known for tennis, having been a two-time regional champion, two-time all-state selection, and a state semi-finalist all in just his junior year of high school alone before going on to play at Spring Arbor University where he competed in both the singles and doubles lineups, finishing his college career with a 62-32 combined record.  Today he is on the officiating circuit of local and national junior tournaments as well as college tennis matches, the latter to include officiating mostly for Big Ten and ACC teams, including numerous top 25 teams.

Guest quotes:

“We grew up Catholic, going to Mass every Sunday, and that was the expectation.  So, it was pretty cut and dry; if you weren’t ready to go to Mass when mom was leaving, you weren’t going.”

“I attended Queen of the Miraculous Medal elementary school for kindergarten through sixth grade and then for middle school I went to Jackson Catholic Middle School and then high school went to Jackson Lumen Christi.  So, that’s basically Catholic schools through and through.”

“The, kind of, unbreakable faith that (my father) had in God’s plan for his life, it gave me the best example I could have had at such a young age of how to take the faith seriously, and really, how it can be the baseline during hard times.”

“I’m not just playing tennis here.  This was a gift that I had from God.  And the best thing that I can do with this gift is give it my all, every single day I’m out there.”

“It was kind of a soft whisper of God just being there saying, ‘Even without all these things, Patrick, I am enough.  Sports is never going to satisfy you.  There’s nothing that you can do in life that’s going to satisfy you enough, except me’.”

“No matter what you do or how many times you win… you have to accept that God is enough for you.”

“I knew what I believed, but I didn’t know why I believed it.”

“Fortunately, with the Catholic faith… you have a return on your… investment.  The more you research the faith, the more you see how beautiful it is and the more you see the fullness of truth.”

“They voted me most likely to be a priest.”

CSR 111 Glenn Otto2021-03-14T19:03:57-04:00

Glenn Otto

Episode 111

15 MAR 2021

A pitcher currently in training camp with the New York Yankees, having been a fifth-round pick of theirs in the 2017 draft.  In college he pitched at Rice University in Houston, leading the staff in earned run average three years in a row. Prior to that he played at Concordia Lutheran High School, which is also in Texas.

Guest quotes:

“It’s definitely a test of faith and baseball is just one avenue where that’s come up to me the last couple years.  Injuries are never easy.  You definitely start questioning, ‘Am I in the right place?  Am I on the right path?’  And my faith is what really keeps me centered in those moments.”

“Without my faith it would make it even more difficult ’cause I want to be out there every day.  I want to be doing my job.  I want to be climbing the ladder.  And I’m looking at it the wrong way at times ’cause God is just moving different things in my life to put me right where I need to be.”

“It’s always going back to prayer, going back to reading the Word, and being around those individuals that point me in that direction that I’m comforted in those difficult times.”

“The end of baseball is not the end of the world.  I’m on this earth to worship God and push other people to the feet of Jesus.”

“Everybody respects you in the organization as a player, and in return, as players, we respect everyone on staff.  That’s always been one of our core values here and it shows throughout the organization.”

“I had professors that really helped my faith walk and our chaplain was a great guy that I’m still in touch with today.”

“It was a really good opportunity just to get with those students that were Christians and get to know those people as people, not just as student-athletes.”

“This is one of the things I’m most proud of — I was baptized (and) confirmed in the same church that I was married in.”

“The Catholic way of thinking is the ‘both and’ — personal relationship with Jesus and your involvement in the church and community with others.”

“I’d love to be involved in other people’s faith walk and help them with the RCIA process, help them with their marriage prep.”

Related link:

Glenn’s pitching career/statistics

[This episode contains a prayer (poem) by Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, PA) Principal Ed Bernot, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport]
CSR 110 Paul Westhead2021-03-13T14:35:12-05:00

Paul Westhead

Episode 110

8 MAR 2021

The only coach to win a championship in the NBA and the WNBA. Over a career that spanned more than 40 years, he was the head coach of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and Denver Nuggets, plus he went on to be an assistant coach with Golden State, Orlando, Seattle, and Oklahoma City. His WNBA Championship came with the Phoenix Mercury. Plus, he coached men and women’s basketball collegiately, at LaSalle, Loyola, George Mason, and Oregon. He even coached in Puerto Rico and in a pro basketball league in Japan. And, last November he put out a book called, “The Speed Game: My Fast Times in Basketball.”

Guest quotes:

“I lived in Philadelphia.  It was just my brother and I, Peter and Paul.  My mother decided that she’d pick two famous saints of all-time.”

“After West Catholic (High School) I did go to a prep school for a year.  I went to Malvern Prep, which is run by the Augustinian Fathers.”

“I really wasn’t thinking the NBA.  I saw myself as a teacher and coach.”

“If there’s something to be learned from my career, it’s, you’re gonna have a lot of bumps and a lot of downtime, but, if you could just find one friend to pick you up, that’s all you need.”

“We knelt down in the locker room before games at St. Joseph’s and said the rosary.”

“Most of my basketball coaching was two to three years or less in the same city.  And it’s difficult for the family, difficult for my wife in particular… But in each city, we would establish a parish that we’d get involved with.”

“The center of our spiritual life was always in the local parish church.  And sometimes they were on campus.  Like, we would go to the campus ministry at the University of Oregon, which was delightful.”

“We just celebrated our anniversary.  February 23rd we were married 58 years.”

Related link:

Paul’s book, “The Speed Game: My Fast Times in Basketball

(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.)
CSR 109 Gabby Otto