Fellowship of Christian Athletes Announces Five 2017 Hall of Champions Inductees

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Fellowship of Christian Athletes Announces Five 2017 Hall of Champions Inductees

Most Recent Class Includes FCA Partners, Servants and Sports Standouts Dan Boyd, Heather Goodrich, Dave Krider, Dan Wooldridge and the Late Ken Sparks

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) is announcing today that five partners and supporters of the world’s largest international sports ministry will be inducted into its Hall of Champions later this year.

Dan Boyd, Heather Goodrich, Dave Krider, Dan Wooldridge and the late Ken Sparks have worked tirelessly to further the FCA vision: to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. FCA Hall of Champions honorees over the years consist of a mix of coaches, athletes and volunteers, including sports greats such as Bobby Bowden, Tony Dungy, Tom Landry, Tom Osborne and Roger Staubach, just to name a few.

“We are thrilled to again welcome a new class into the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “These wonderful individuals have not only made contributions to the sports they love, but to the communities and teams to which they are committed. We are so thankful for the contributions to sports and to Jesus Christ through FCA, as we honor Dan Boyd, Heather Goodrich, Dave Krider, Dan Wooldridge and the late Ken Sparks and welcome them to the Hall of Champions Class of 2017.” 

Dan Boyd

Dan Boyd has served FCA as a board member in Colorado for more than 50 years. He is currently the State Advisory Board Chairman and also served for six years National Board of Trustees. Boyd first became involved in FCA as a student-athlete in the late 1950s. Although Boyd never played professionally, he was a decorated high school athlete. Along with a sterling reputation as an entrepreneur and business leader in the Denver community, he served as an officer in the Navy and has been the champion of the Denver Athletic Club Racquetball Tournament regularly.

“Dan is the embodiment of FCA’s Core Values,” said nominator Travis Smith, FCA Field Technology Trainer. “He is an unmatched encourager and supporter of our staff here in Colorado. It is hard to picture a person who has given more of their time, talents and treasure to FCA than Dan Boyd, and this accomplishment would surely crystallize his legacy within FCA. Although Dan was never a high-profile athlete, he has still accomplished a great deal as a competitor and coach, and is otherwise the walking fulfillment of someone deserving this recognition.”

Kevin Mark, former FCA State Director for Colorado, now serving as the Vice President of Field Ministry in Texas, added that Boyd is a quintessential servant leader.

“Dan has approached his participation as Board Chairman as if it were a full-time job,” Mark said. “His level of commitment toward the mission and vision of FCA is unquestioned, and the value he has brought to our team is immeasurable. Moreover, a better, more faithful, kind and humble cornerstone of a state’s FCA ministry could not be found in all the nation. We could not possibly ask for more in a volunteer, in our volunteer-intensive ministry, than Dan Boyd!”

Boyd and his wife, Gay, live in Englewood, Colorado. 

Heather Goodrich

Known in FCA circles as “Momma G,” Heather Goodrich has been immersed in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for nearly her entire life, serving as a volunteer, Huddle Leader and board member.

“Heather exemplifies FCA in absolutely every aspect of her being,” wrote nominator Mark Anderson, FCA Area Director for Weld County, Colorado, formerly of FCA Fayette County in Georgia. “Her commitment to Christ bleeds in every conversation no matter where she is or who she speaks with. Above all, Heather boldly encourages coaches and athletes to ‘take FCA with them,’ which has initiated Huddles and the sharing of resources far beyond her direct proximity reach. … The greatest testament to ‘Momma G’s’ heart for Christ and FCA is the legacy seen in multiple communities and colleges across the nation.”

Goodrich was influential through FCA at Rising Starr Middle School and Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville, Georgia. More than 300 students gather weekly at Rising Starr, and leadership has grown and is self-sustained at Starr’s Mill High. After Goodrich moved to Delaware, she became a powerhouse advocate for FCA in the community of Fenwick as well.

In these two regions, Goodrich has established Huddles, shared the Gospel, impacted the lives of coaches and athletes, raised funds, served on boards, assisted with FCA Fields of Faith events, recruited for FCA Camps and more. Goodrich was known to encourage graduating high school seniors to start FCA on their college campuses or in their communities.

“Heather gives of her time as a lay coach helping various sports, mainly in track and field,” wrote Starr’s Mill coach Amy Evert. “She and her husband saturated themselves in the local high school in order to form relationships with the athletes and coaches. They served each and every person they met and modeled lives that were dedicated to our Lord and Savior. Heather demonstrates godly character in all that she does as an athlete, coach and Huddle leader, (and has) dedicated her life to sharing her faith and using FCA as the vessel to fulfill the Great Commission.”

Goodrich, a Virginia native, and her husband, Kent, reside in Fenwick Island, Delaware.

Dave Krider

Now in his 56th year as sportswriter, Dave Krider pioneered prep sports’ national prominence and has a place in eight halls of fame for sports writing, penning articles for USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Max Preps. A 42-year FCA Huddle Coach in Indiana, Krider’s experience with the sports ministry began when he handled publicity for an FCA Camp at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, while serving as sports editor of the Herald-Argus in La Porte, Indiana, in the early 1970s. He went on to volunteer at FCA Camps in Central Michigan University and Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Krider quickly embraced FCA’s vision and began praying for his town to start a Huddle at La Porte High School (LPHS), which eventually launched in October 1975. Considering Krider was neither a coach nor teacher at the school, he was unsure whether he could commit to the group. Yet, his deep passion for Jesus, sports and kids uniquely combined to establish a ministry he’s led for the past 42 years.

“As an FCA volunteer ‘in the trenches,’ Dave Krider constantly exerts maximum effort for his student-athletes,” wrote nominator Scott Staal, FCA Area Director for Northwest Indiana. “He secures local scholarship money to send his leadership team to FCA Leadership Camp every summer. He invites speakers—local heroes and big-name coaches—to address the group, which on a maximum-capacity night eclipses 100 students. Plus, he’s only missed five Huddle meetings over the past four decades!”

Impacting thousands, the longevity of Krider’s ministry is eternal, and generations of La Porte student-athletes were forever influenced because of his dedication.

“For over 40 years, Dave has combined his love of sports and his deep faith to serve our community as a volunteer with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” wrote Blair E. Milo, former mayor of the City of La Porte. “As a former member of the LPHS FCA, I can personally attest to his enthusiastic ministry and the positive impact that his leadership of FCA had on my life. Now, I fully appreciate his years of quiet leadership for these young adults at the very time in their lives that they are making important decisions about their future. It has been an honor to get to return to La Porte and continue working with Dave as he continues his tireless mission.”

Krider and his wife, Lois, who has co-led the FCA Huddle at LPHS for the past 30 years, reside in La Porte.

Dan Wooldridge

Dan Wooldridge serves as a Roanoke Valley FCA Board Member in Virginia, and he and his wife, Nancy, were one of the three families to establish Roanoke Valley FCA in 1964. Wooldridge pioneered sending student-athletes to FCA Camps and Bible studies, and also established the Roanoke Valley Wide FCA Breakfast that united high schools throughout region.

“Dan Wooldridge has been a faithful supporter and ministry partner of FCA for over 54 years,” wrote nominator Tim Hill, FCA Multi-Area Director for Central and Southwest Virginia. “From the early days until now, Dan continues to be an active member on the board! He brings new insights and rich history to the ministry and constantly challenges FCA to reach student athletes and coaches for Christ.”

A three-sport standout in college, Wooldridge played professional baseball, coached high school sports for seven years and went on to become a supervisor of football and basketball officials in several conferences, a scout for NFL officials and a consultant for ACC football. He was also chosen to be one of two referees from the United States to officiate the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. In the 1970s, he became a key figure in the formation of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and was also named to Lynchburg College Sports Hall of Fame.

Buck McCabe, who accepted Christ as his Savior at an FCA Camp in 1967, always wondered who enabled him to attend the event that changed his life. When he met the Wooldridges several years ago, McCabe was able to thank the couple who paved the way to his journey with Jesus.

“I wonder how many hundreds and hundreds of kids owe their lives to this man,” McCabe said. “When nobody else would or could, he did, even to the point of borrowing money from the bank to see kids go to Camp. Dan is truly one of the ‘silent’ heroes of FCA history. It is a joy for me to personally give my highest recommendation to this most outstanding FCA Champion.”

Dan and Nancy Wooldridge have three daughters and live in Roanoke.

Ken Sparks

Ken Sparks, who passed away March 29, 2017, was honored this past winter for his FCA Hall of Champions induction during the Carson-Newman (Tennessee) Football Championship Coaching Clinic, an event for coaches and their spouses Sparks spearheaded for more than 30 years.

The longtime Carson-Newman coach served as an ambassador for Christ and FCA around the country. He spoke at countless FCA coaching clinics, banquets and rallies, presented the Gospel to his audiences and shared his faith with every player and team he coached.

Sparks served as former president for the American Football Coaches Association and was nominated to the AFCA Hall of Fame. He was also a recipient of the FCA Grant Teaff Coach of the Year Award and Grant Teaff Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I have known Ken in so many roles,” wrote one nominator, Ken Smith, FCA board member and fellow Hall of Champions inductee. “I have spoken to his team and coaches for over 30 years. His impact in those areas has been massive. My son played for him four years, and he and his staff contributed to his life journey. His record as a coach speaks for itself. However … his impact on the lives of coaches and their wives is monumental. All of those make Ken’s life worthy to be honored. In my case, it goes deeper. I have journeyed with him as a friend. His personal impact on me is beyond description.”

Another nominator, Clyde Christensen, offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, added that Sparks has been a model leader, encourager, brother and partner to him for 30 years.

“Coach Sparks has embodied everything a Christian coach should be,” Christensen wrote. “He has labored passionately to see his players and staff have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, living their lives sold out to Him. He did this for 37 years as head coach at Carson-Newman University. Dozens of times, I have participated with and witnessed Ken presenting the Gospel to his team. I know of no other coach who has more boldly shared and displayed Christ, longing for his players, coaches and family to walk in faith.”

Along with his wife, Carol, Sparks was a member of Manley Baptist Church of Morristown.

FCA’s Hall of Champions members serve to fulfill FCA’s vision, mission and values: to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes; to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church; and through relationships that demonstrate steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word through integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.

In May, the Class of 2017 will be honored with a photo and biography at the newly redesigned Hall of Champions at FCA’s National Support Center in Kansas City. A special glass plaque will be presented to honorees or members of their families later this year.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions was established in 1991. There are now 101 godly coaches and athletes plus board members and volunteers who have received this special tribute. They make up a group of FCA servant-leaders who have faithfully served Christ through the avenue of FCA. Their commitment to the Lord’s work has impacted millions over the years. They are a body of teammates in Christ who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the support of FCA, nominated by staff and board members and elected by a selection committee.

Criteria for the Hall of Champions nominations include: a personal belief in and commitment to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord; a demonstrated commitment to participate in the ministry of FCA; a commitment to further FCA’s purpose; an involvement FCA ministry; a lengthy period of consistent service (minimum of 10 years); a personal involvement in the world of sport; not an FCA staff person (FCA’s Hall of Honor is for both past and current staff); and not a current member of FCA’s National Board of Trustees.

Click here to read more about the Class of 2017 and to view a complete list of previous Hall of Champions inductees.

Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.

 

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