A Former Player's Tribute to Gary Olson
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, an Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons - Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law- Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren - Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2008 Feb 01
In the post just below this one, I mention Gary Olson who died in 1999. He has been on my mind lately because I received an email from a young man who wanted a picture he could use on a Facebook page created for former Oak Park-River Forest (IL) football players. When I realized that I didn’t have any digital pictures of Gary, I scanned this photograph and sent it to him.
I mention this because I was struck by what the young man wrote. His words testify to the impact that a godly coach can have:
“Coach Olson was a great man, he impacted many lives, he brought me to Christ, he helped me to become a man of God today. After high school I coached football and basketball just like coach because I wanted to help change kids lives, just like he did. Coach Olson taught me about the Bible and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, which helped me graduate from college, which was a challenge because I have a learning disability but whenever I got discouraged I would put on that tape (of a message Gary gave) and open up my Bible and my strength was renewed. Right now I’m going back to school to get my teacher certification so I can teach and become a full time coach and maybe help run the Fellowship of Christian Athletes just like coach Olson.”