I just received this email from Jerry A. Weant and thought that this was powerful and moving enough to share on my blog – As you read it, think about your own prayers. What do you pray for? Really? As Brad McCoy states, he thought he was praying for one thing. Turns out he was praying for something entirely different, and God knew what that was…
I have to share with you all our experience last night and bear with me, this email could get pretty long. Tom and I had the amazing privilege of hearing Coach Brad McCoy (Colt’s dad) speak at the Regents’ fall sports banquet. He had been the scheduled speaker for months – who knew that he would come to us after the three hardest weeks of his life.
He has coached for 26 years, won 4 state championships and has or is raising his three sons to be Godly leaders, with humble servant hearts. He confessed to us that he speaks all the time on growing leaders and on the importance of sports, football in particular, to learning life’s lessons. He also said that he had to change his talk for the night in light of what happened to Colt Thursday night. He apologized for what could sound like rambling and for having to talk about his son more than he might, usually, but he said he had to share with us how he saw God in all of this.
Coach McCoy began his talk telling us of God’s hand in the story of how Colt and Jordan Shipley came to live in the back house of one of our Regents’ families and that was very funny and entertaining. He wanted to thank the Andersons, who were there, for providing his son with a safe home and he wanted to honor for them for who they have been in Colt’s life (they hate to be publicly thanked like this but he thought it appropriate since they were part of the Regents’ family). I’ll share this story with you later because it’s what else he talked about that was so amazing.
He told us that three weeks ago his highschool football team, his youngest son is a senior on it, lost the state championship by 1 point because their kicker flaked out, they had to go for two with no time left on the clock and lost 13-12. Then he and his wife join Colt in New York for the Heisman ceremony which did not go as well as they could have hoped. Then they get to Pasadena for the biggest game in Colt’s life, one he has been preparing for all of his life – and he plays for three plays. He told us that as soon as Colt went down he began to pray that God would enable him to continue playing, he prayed for healing and for Colt’s heart and attitude.
He finally made his way down under the stadium, praying the whole way, hoping to see Colt sitting up and putting his pads back on and heading back out the tunnel. Instead, he saw him laying prone on a trainer’s table, no pads, and a tear on his face. Colt looked up at him and said “Dad, I had them – I knew everything they were going to do before they did it – I could have completed every pass I threw – I could see everything and I know we could have won this game.” Brad told God that Colt could have his arm!
Later, Colt got up and wanted to try and throw a little, just in case he had been miraculously healed and Coach McCoy said all he could think of was when Colt was 3 or 4 and they would throw in the front yard – he could see that little boy in this big ol’ quarterback and it broke his heart to watch him throw as if he was using the wrong hand, like he had to think of every step and where should his hand even be. When everyone finally decided he was not playing, Colt refused to let them put his arm in a sling, he put his pads back on and asked for a headset so he could help with the plays and help the new quarterback.
All through this, Coach McCoy was dealing with lots of emotions and he told us he was pretty angry with God and God finally told him “Colt is fine, it is you that need some help.” He said that God shared that with him over and over all through the night – like when the game finally turned around and the crowd was chanting “Gilbert…Gilbert” and he was so struck by the fact that this should have been Colt’s stage. He just shared with us the hurts of a father who could do absolutely nothing to help his son and how God helped him to realize that Colt would make it, that it was Coach McCoy who needed God’s strength at the moment. He told us his phone blew up from all the texts and messages after Colt spoke at the end of the game and that he didn’t hear what Colt said until Saturday morning. He did ask Colt later that night, around 3:00 am, what he said because he was getting all these calls about it and Colt said, “Dad, I don’t remember, I have no idea.”
Coach McCoy believes God spoke through Colt Thursday night. He also told us that Colt set out to impact the world through football at UT and he firmly believes he did that by what he said after the game in a way that Colt could never have done, even by winning the championship. He asked us to pray for Colt, not for his shoulder, because that is already getting better, but for his broken heart. He also shared with us that a non-believer who had heard Colt speak after the game recognized Coach McCoy and asked him about what he said. Coach said he had an amazing opportunity to explain “the Rock” to this person and to witness to him.
Then – he said he likes to sing some and apoligized because he might not make it through the song, but he sang for us the song about “…on solid rock, I stand – all other ground is sinking sand…” Anyway, it was an amazing night and I have to think we are probably the only community Coach McCoy has shared any of this with – what a story and what a privilege. He also shared with us his and his wife’s philosophy on raising kids and it’s that you prepare the child for the path, not try to prepare the path for the child – and this was something in Colt’s path and his faith would see him through.
I have never been to a sports banquet where I cried and laughed so much – he is a great speaker and was so honest and transparent – his hurt for his son and his joy and pride in his son were so evident. He also told us that he got a call from a NFL general manager yesterday who told him that what Colt said after the game just raised his stock with the NFL immensely, because if you want someone to be the face of your franchise, that is what you want their face to look like. Anyway, sounds like Colt is the real deal, which is what I have thought all along. I still can’t claim to be a UT fan, but I will always be a Colt McCoy fan!! Sorry this was so long and I’m sure I didn’t give his talk justice – it was just an amazing evening. Love you guys
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”