For Immediate Release
January 11, 2016
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com
FCA Baseball Honors University of Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell with Kindall Award
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Annual Award Recognizes a College or High School Baseball Coach Who Exemplifies Character, Integrity, Excellence, Teamwork and Service
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—This past weekend at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in Nashville, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) Baseball honored University of Louisville head baseball coach Dan McDonnell with the 2016 Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award.
FCA Baseball presents the Kindall Award each year at the ABCA Convention to the college or high school baseball coach who best exemplifies the Christian principles of character, integrity, excellence, teamwork and service.
“FCA congratulates Coach McDonnell on this great honor,” said FCA President and CEO Les Steckel. “We know that coaches have the opportunity to impact more people in one year than most do in a lifetime. Many leaders in business, government and education attribute their success to lessons learned from a coach. This is why FCA is committed to honoring coaches for exhibiting the qualities of a godly leader who can truly change lives through their service.”
Added David Daly of FCA Baseball, “At FCA Baseball, we want to inspire coaches to be coaches of character. Coach McDonnell has had an indelible impact on thousands of players over his long and successful career. We wish him nothing but the best in his continuing years leading the Louisville Cardinals.”
At the helm at the University of Louisville since 2006, McDonnell has an overall record of 406-177. He entered 2015 ranked sixth nationally among active coaches in winning percentage. He was also the 2015 ACC Coach of the Year, and the Cardinals are ranked sixth nationally in wins (406) from 2007-2015. McDonnell and his teams also made College World Series appearances in 2007, 2013 and 2014—one just a year after he took over at Louisville—along with eight NCAA Regional appearances and five NCAA Super Regional appearances.
In the May/June 2015 issue of FCA Magazine, McDonnell was featured for the “Heart of a Coach” Q&A, where he stated: “Once you put God at the center of your life, it’s less about you and more about serving and glorifying Him. It’s easy to become self-centered at a younger age, but as your faith grows you realize there’s a bigger purpose. It’s changed the way I am with my family and how I coach. You give your heart to God, but you don’t just kick back with your feet up thinking you’ve got it made. Every day is new, with challenges and opportunities and obstacles, and I want to go in with an open mind and clear head to see what God has in store for me.”
A believer in and a fan of FCA’s head coaches’ studies at Louisville, McDonnell also told FCA Magazine that he approaches his faith at Louisville by being real.
“You can’t fool kids,” he said. “Ultimately, I’ve got to work on myself and my relationship with God and my family. It starts there, and what’s inside of me will pour out to the players. I know I’m a sinner, and my players see my very best and my very worst because I’m so competitive. I take great pride when a family says yes to coming to Louisville. They’re trusting me to help their son grow. I constantly talk about not just preparing guys to win a game here, but for the rest of their lives. They have families and friends they’re going home to—what kind of impact am I making on them? It’s that butterfly effect where you could be touching a lot of lives.” Read more of Coach McDonnell’s Q&A here.
McDonnell has also coached 22 All-Americans, 68 all-conference selections, five conference Pitchers of the Year, three conference Players of the Year and one conference Freshman of the Year. In his first nine seasons as head coach, 43 Louisville players signed professional contracts after being selected in the MLB Draft.
Over his 24 seasons in NCAA baseball as a player and coach, McDonnell helped lead teams at the University of Mississippi and his alma mater, The Citadel, where he graduated in 1992.
McDonnell and his wife, Julie Anne, have two sons: Jake and Justin.
The annual FCA Baseball award is named after Jerry Kindall, who was the first person in NCAA history to win a baseball national championship as both a player and a coach. In addition to his three titles at the University of Arizona as a coach, Kindall played shortstop for the 1956 National Champion University of Minnesota team.
Signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1956, Kindall went on to play eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins. Following his professional career, Kindall became the University of Arizona Wildcats head skipper from 1973-1996. He is Arizona’s all-time leader in career wins finishing his coaching career with a record of 860-580-6.
Kindall is a member of both the University of Minnesota and University of Arizona Hall of Fames, and was the recipient of the ABCA’s Prestigious Lefty Gomez Award in 1999 as well as a three-time national ABCA Coach of the Year.
Although Kindall’s coaching resume is impressive, those who know Jerry either as a coach or as a peer, are most impressed by the kind of person he is both on and off the baseball diamond.
Past Kindall Award winners include: Brian Shoop (2015), Ray Hughes (2014), Rusty Stroupe (2013), Scott Berry (2012), Victor “Bubba” Cates (2011), Dave Altopp (2010), Carroll Land (2009), Elliot Johnson (2008), Mark Johnson (2007) and Jerry Kindall (2006). To learn more about the Kindall Award, visit FCA Baseball.
To interview a representative from Fellowship of Christian Athletes, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA) vision is to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. Its mission is to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church. FCA’s guiding values are integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.
Since 1954, FCA has challenged coaches and athletes to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is cultivating Christian principles in local communities nationwide by encouraging, equipping and empowering others to serve as examples and to make a difference. Reaching approximately two million people annually on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels, FCA focuses its efforts on its Four Cs of Ministry: Coaches, Campus, Camps and Community.
- FCA Coaches Ministry focuses on ministering to the heart of the coach first, and then supporting coaches as they engage with FCA’s Four Cs through Huddles, events, training and resources.
- The school campus is one of the most strategic mission fields with the vast majority of all youth passing through this portal. FCA Campus Ministry focuses on equipping, enabling, empowering and encouraging coaches, student athletes and adult leaders to impact and influence their campus for Christ.
- FCA Camp is a time of “inspiration and perspiration” for coaches and athletes to reach their potential by offering comprehensive athletic, spiritual, and leadership training through seven types of camps: Sports, Leadership, Coaches, Power, Partnership, Team and International Camps.
- FCA Community Ministry is the off-campus opportunity to reach coaches and athletes for Christ through the club and recreation sport environment.