Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 29, 2015

Coach and First Lady

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 3:42 pm

(This is a blog from February 7, 2012.  It is re-posted to show support of Mark and Katharyn Richt.)

The media often refers to them as “Coach and First Lady.”  I am referring to Mark and Katharyn Richt!  Mark is the head football coach of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and Katharyn, his wife, is also known as “America’s Water Girl” as she works the sidelines at games providing water to the players.

Mark and Katharyn are remarkable people.  We have known this couple for almost 20 years.  We have had the joy of seeing their family grow and the commitments that take priority in their lives.  They increased their family from their two boys, John and David, by adopting two infants from the Ukraine about 10 years ago.  Most of America know this incredible story and marvel at the compassion and love of this couple.

They are examples to others in so many ways.  We recently had the privilege of spending a couple of days with them and the more you are around them, the more you desire to present them as models to American couples.  Mark shared some things that so encouraged me and I believe could be an encouragement to all who would hear his heart.

He spoke of adversity.  His reference was to the past season with the Georgia Bulldogs.  Georgia lost their first two football games.  That can put a coach on what they refer to as “the hot seat.”  Everyone knows that if a coach is not winning, administration and fans begin to make some rumblings.  Mark was aware of that . . .  as were the other coaches and players.

So how does one handle such adversity?  Mark’s response was that you prepare for it.  Yes, prepare for adversity!  He had my attention because adversity comes in various forms and at various times to everyone.  He said that he nor the players panicked after losing the games. They did not fall apart . . . get rattled!

The coaches and players were prepared.  There was no blaming one another — coaches of players, players of coaches, players of players, or coaches of coaches.  They had prepared well through a spirit of unity — they were bonded together!  They all had made a commitment — players to coaches, coaches to players, players to players, and coaches to coaches.  It appeared they were truly united, whatever they would face.  They believed in one another!

The preparation for adversity prevented a season of defeat!  And look at the remarkable season they did have!  They would win the next 10 games!  All that Mark shared resonated with me.  Oh, the message received!

Adversity will come.  Am I prepared?  There must be a commitment on my part . . . I must not panic but know that I am bonded with One who will provide strength and direction during a time of adversity.  I will never blame someone or some circumstance for the adversity.  If I do, I will focus my energy on that and not on the victory that I can have in spite of the set back.

Mark’s strongest words that testified to his coaching responsibility  . . . and whatever he faces in life, resounded when he said, “In everything, I am totally dependent on God.”  That is the character of Mark and Katharyn.  The priority of their life is Jesus Christ.  My respect for them is always heightened when I am around them and see the testimony of Christian conviction.

Why knowing them is enough for me to shout, “Go Dawgs!”



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