interests, life and abilities and expecting this same kind of integrity from each player about themselves. Secondly, it is based upon gratitude; being thankful for the life you have been given by God, and thirdly, to apply yourself diligently towards your interests and your dreams through hard work, discipline, courage, passion, intelligence and a respect for others.
It is not unusual that a college or university the size of CLU would see some of its student-athletes become coaches. What sets Cal Lutheran apart from many others is that 167 of its former Kingsmen football players have gone into football coaching after their playing years.
Our own present Head Coach Ben McEnroe exhibits a prime example of the kind of coaching offered and applied at Cal Lutheran. A disciple himself of Cal Lutheran coaching, the values and lessons passed on to him from his father and other mentors he has known are applied in not only his coaching, but the way he carries himself and brings up his kids. Just a couple of his “pearls of wisdom” he attributes to his Dad include:
“You make your own bed, you have to sleep in it.” Meaning: You’re accountable for your actions, what you do and what you don’t do. You’re going to make mistakes. Own them, get it fixed, and move on. Don’t repeat the same mistakes.
“The sun’s gonna rise tomorrow.” Meaning: Keep on truckin’. There’s nothing you can do about the past, take advantage of what you were given today.
“Don’t ask ‘why?’ The good Lord will never give you more than you can handle.” Meaning: Suck it up and don’t feel sorry for yourself.
“Hit somebody!” Meaning: Blow guys up. Don’t stand around pushing and shoving. Ask questions later. My Dad yelled at every kickoff of every game I played or coached that he saw.
When a coach passes on to his players his own “lessons of life” so that they make it a part of their lives, this is the key to finding happiness and success and making meaningful contributions.
Mike Sheppard, a member of CLU’s 1971 NAIA National Championship Team and chosen as “Outstanding Lineman” in the championship game, had 60 catches for 956 yards and seven touchdowns his final two years, earning 1971 and 1972 All-District III honors and named to the 1972 All-Lutheran College Team, says his Cal Lutheran experience shaped everything about him. "When I was there [at CLU] it was a critical time like it is in most young people's lives. It shaped everything spiritually, personally and professionally. Everything I am about today is largely because of Cal Lutheran." "The coaches were not only outstanding coaches, but better people," Sheppard points out. "This meant that the players were coached by men with character. They were smart and understood what they had to do to be effective coaches." Although he initially didn't think about going into coaching, the encouragement by CLU coaches is what got me started."
Rod Marinelli attended Cal Lutheran with a physical education major, and was a team captain and NAIA All-America offensive tackle also as a member of Bob Shoup's legendary 1971 NAIA National Championship team. He says his experience at Cal Lutheran gave him the coaching philosophy he uses today. “Players come first”, he explains. "You want to create a great environment for coaches to teach in and for players to learn in. CLU is a great teaching school, and it always has been. The coaches made it special in terms of developing guys who wanted to be teachers and coaches."
Mark Weber, a Cal Lutheran lineman who played from 1977-79, and who was recently profiled as the new Offensive Line Coach at Utah State in this website’s NEWS & FEATURES section, is one more fine example of the quality of player / coaches that have been “incubated” at Cal Lutheran University. In the article (now seen in the INDEX Section of this website under COACHES ARTICLES) Weber says, “Above all of the other characteristics that a great coach must have is this: being able to convey…who he is deep down inside, because when adversity hits, that’s who you see.”
It is a fact of life that football encourages those who are born with the size and "physical performance" advantage to excel at the highest level. Of course attitude and discipline, will and intelligence and leadership qualities can often help smaller players advance and succeed, but no matter how much you love football, destiny chooses the path your life will take on the field and thereafter. There is no "written formula" for a person's life in football, but if you have a passion and a love of football and want to spend your life in this sport, there is certainly a place for you.
You will find below a list of 167 football players from Cal Lutheran University, including those mentioned above, that also devoted their lives to coaching. It is an amazing list, and yet it is not at all complete. We are just now beginning to identify and find and profile these players. The names on the list in bold print we are already in contact with and for which there is a profile; just click on the Bold Name, and the profile will appear.
Cal Lutheran’s Player / Coaches (in alphabetical order):
This is a time consuming job to complete because we have lost touch with so many players. We are yet committed to finding out the whereabouts of every single player / coach from Cal Lutheran, so if you see a name on the attached list that is not in bold print and you know where they are, what their phone number or email is…or of any player / coach that is not on the list … no matter how long they coached or are even still coaching, please email the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need you all on this team.
The number of profiles available will be continually increasing. As you check in to the website occasionally to get “the latest updates on all aspects of Cal Lutheran football, check in also with the Coaches Corner to see who we have additionally found and profiled or updated.
PLAYER / COACH