New Coach Interested in Spiritual Dimension, Too

Post a Comment » Written on January 18th, 2006     
Filed under: News
By Stan Friedman

CHICAGO, IL (January 18, 2006) – Although he coached football at the NCAA Division1-A level, Scott Pethtel considers taking the reigns of North Park University’s program to be a step up.

“It’s a long-term goal that I had,” says the new coach. “I think it’s the truest form of amateurism in football. The athletes love the game. They don’t come because of scholarship – I just like that attitude. They still love to play the game and they are as committed as any level of football.”

Pethtel comes to North Park from the Division 1-A program at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, where he was the special team coordinator and defensive assistant.

Coaching at Division III will allow him to help instill values that he might not have been able to at the larger programs. “The almighty buck was driving Division 1 football and not the development of character,” Pethtel says.

“My approach is ‘positively demanding,’ ” Pethtel says. “I want to bring as much out of any individual and do it in the most positive way. I’m not a yeller and a screamer.” That’s not to say he never yells, he adds, but he doesn’t want players to feel demeaned when he does.

The coach wants his athletes to live the motto, “Give 100 percent of your God-given talent in everything you do for as long as you can give it.”

“God-given” is important to Pethtel, who wanted to coach at a school where he could help student athletes develop spiritually as well as learn how to play the X’s and O’s. “It’s a big part of what I want to accomplish with the team.”

Pethtel comes to the school looking to turn around a program that has struggled in one of the country’s toughest Division III conferences. He says the process will take time, which is why he wasted none and started talking with recruits on his first day in the office.

“It’s a challenge,” Pethtel says. “It’s going to continue to be a challenge until we can get the right recruits.”

The new Helwig Recreation Center, currently under construction and scheduled for completion this fall, will help recruiting, Pethtel says. He notes that few indoor centers have the artificial turf that will be used in the facility.

In addition to his tenure at Buffalo, Pethtel has coached in various capacities at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; and his alma mater, Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. He graduated from Adrian College, where he was captain of the football and wrestling teams and received numerous athletic accolades, including Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year (1975) and two inductions into the Athletic Hall of Fame (1985, 2004). His career highlights include coaching numerous championship teams within the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Mid American Conference (MAC), as well as meaningful work off the field with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and community service programs. While a coach, Pethtel organized chapels for the football teams at Ball State and Buffalo, as well as for the basketball team at Ball State. He also helped plant a church in Muncie, Indiana, in which he served as church chair.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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