See Jesus In Me

My desire as a coach is for people to see Jesus in me.  Through the way I work, the way I behave, and the way I care, I want Jesus to be at the center of it.  My heartbeat is to see those around me grow closer to Jesus because of the way I live.

However, I'm really bad at it most of the time.

My work becomes focused solely on wins & losses.  I work a certain way for certain hours, so that people will give me their approval.  I do what I do because I want the praise and glory for myself.

My behavior lacks character too often and I fall victim to Satan's attacks.  I allow my feelings to dictate my actions, which often leads to sin.  I behave the way I do because I'm prideful and want to do what only makes me happy.

My care for others is non-existent  because their needs are not more important than my own, obviously.  I focus on what I want and lookout for me, myself, and I.  I lack the care that I need to have because I'm selfish.


I've been struggling lately to be a light; to be the example that God created me to be.  He called me to coach and he enabled me to have the opportunity to impact young men and other coaches.  I'm passionate about fulfilling that call with the gifts that God has given me.  I want to embrace the responsibility that I have because I know the impact those with the same calling had on me.  So here's what I'm going to do:


I believe that prayer is powerful and God desires to have that communication with us.  As a coach, I need to make this a daily occurrence with intentionality throughout the day.  However, I'm really bad at praying.  I don't do it enough and more often than not I fail to do it well.  Please pray for me to grow stronger in my prayer life!


God's word is powerful.  It speaks truth and breathes life.  I need to dig deeper into the word of God and find out more about what he is all about.  I'm really good at reading it on a surface level, but I desire to dive deeper and grow closer to God.  


I want to do more.  Not because I think it will earn me favor with God, but because I want to impact people.  I want to genuinely love them and show them who Jesus is by the way I live life.  I want my words to speak truth and I want my actions to display love.  I want the gospel to resonate with the people I come in contact with every day, so Jesus can do a work in their life.

I want people to see Jesus in me. 

Extraordinary Leadership Begins and Ends With These 3 Words

Anyone can be a leader.  From the guy in the entry level position all the way to the experienced CEO, every person has the ability to lead.  But what separates the ordinary leader from the extraordinary one?  There are three words that permeate the best of the best; love, trust, and serve.  And please understand, the greatest leaders not only act on these words every day, but they also have the ability to get their followers to act on them as well.


Extraordinary leaders love.  They have a genuine desire to care for the people around them.  This is more than just mentioning it every once in a while, it's living it out on a daily basis.  

Loving your followers is active and if you are doing a good job at it, the people you lead will actively love you back.  


Extraordinary leaders trust.  They spend countless hours building trust by showing compassion and caring for those around them.  They allow their followers to fail and use those situations as teaching opportunities to grow.  

When the people you lead feel confidence from you as their leader, they in turn will trust you and run through a wall for you.  


Extraordinary leaders serve.  They constantly look for opportunities to put others needs in front of their own.  They understand that if they want to be the best leader they can be then they must serve their people.

There will rarely be a time when serving others is convenient, but as a leader you must do it.  When you put the needs of others first, others will serve you and the team in ways you could never imagine.  

No matter where you find yourself in the chain of command, you have the opportunity to love, trust, and serve those around you.  Stop being an "ordinary" leader.  Make the choice to be extraordinary today!

Love, Mrs. Coach (Part 2)


They’re gentlemen. They’re kind. They’re passionate. They’re coachable. They’re crazy and goofy and immature and hilarious. They’re good guys. Our girls (ages 2 and 3) are beyond smitten. We are always greeted with hugs and high-fives. The players sit on our couch and read books to our children. They paint fingernails of toddlers and actually listen when my 2 year old tries to tell them something in her own language. The guys will chase them and flip them and carry them on their shoulders as long as my kids keep asking. We love our guys.

Our guys’ girlfriends are equally as awesome. They’re supportive and encouraging and patient with the crazy basketball schedule we all endure. I’ve loved having “watch parties” (aka ice cream parties) when our guys play on the road. We are able to eat ice cream, bond, girl-talk (did I mention the ice cream?) and share common ground because of these guys. I personally prefer home games, because I love to watch the guys play in person and not say bye to my husband, but having these girls over for away games has made road games so much more enjoyable! Girlfriends, you play such a vital role and I am so thankful for each of you!

And don’t even get me started on our players' parents/families. Kind words, notes of encouragement, random gift cards, thoughtful trinkets/toys/candy for our girls, sweet texts, and the list goes on. We have the best parents/families. Hands down.

Despite having great players, awesome girlfriends and amazing families, being a coach’s family isn’t at all glamorous. But SURPRISE, we aren’t in it for the glamour!


Chances are, they probably won’t be “players” anymore after their 4 years of college ball. Do you know what they’ll be after that? Husbands, fathers, leaders, teachers, coaches, and influencers wherever they go. Don’t get me wrong. We want to win games. We really want to win games. But our ultimate goal is for our guys to win at life. To show Jesus to their family and others all around them every day. To win the ultimate prize of “Well done, my good and faithful servant."  To become coaches who have the same influence and can teach the next generation, by example, what it looks like to live by faith. To somehow balance a crazy schedule and still remember what is important in this life. People.

And somehow, the not-so-glamorous late nights, long hours, and unseen challenges are totally and completely worth it.

Julie Wingreen

Love, Mrs. Coach (Part 1)

Love, Mrs. Coach

I don't know what first comes to your mind when you think of the role of a coach, but I'll tell you what I used to think.

Someone who shows up on game day to call the plays. And there we have it. A coach. Not until I married a coach, did I fully understand the TRUE meaning of a coach. It sounds so cliche to say that being a coach is more than just a job, but I'm afraid that's true. 

My husband doesn't just coach on the basketball court. He coaches in his office, in our home, in the locker room, in the urgent care clinic, in his car, and at Firehouse Subs.

My husband doesn't just work when the shot clock is running. He doesn't just care about our players during practice. He doesn't only invest in our players on game days. 


My husband cares more about developing your son as a man, than as just a player.

My husband hurts when your son hurts.

My husband is up late emailing your sons teachers, making sure your son is meeting the criteria in the classroom.

My husband cares where your son goes after he graduates.

My husband drops everything when your son needs a ride to the Urgent care clinic and you're not here.

My husband sits in the urgent care clinic until 1:00am waiting for your son to receive care and to give him a ride back to campus. And possibly a pharmacy run in there too. Oh, and food, because the dining hall is closed at 2:00am.

My husband drives states away to pick up your son because you have a schedule you need to keep.

My husband's heart breaks when your son feels emotional or physical pain.

My husband prays for your son every day.

My husband loves your son while you are miles and states away.

My husband has seen your son cry.

My husband checks in on your son daily.

My husband stays up late into the night (and often morning) drawing plays and watching film.

My husband bites his tongue when your son is disrespectful, so that he doesn't embarrass your son in front of the team.

My husband cares about your sons life even when he's home on break.

My husband loves your son.

Dear parent,
Please trust your sons coach. He loves your son too. Please teach your son humility and to have respect for authority.


My husband loves you. I know that you know this because I hear him tell you.

My husband stays up at night (while you're sleeping) emailing your teachers trying to help you stay eligible. Because a semester away from basketball would only allow you to get into trouble.

My husband wants you to succeed on the court AND in life.

My husband prays for you.

My husband would do anything for you.

My husband makes decisions that I'm sure seem crazy to you. But I can assure you, he has your very best interest in mind.

My husband stays up late thinking/praying/worrying about the struggles you're facing that you've shared with him.

My husband cares about your relationships with people. Yes, even your girlfriend.

My husband has bigger dreams for you than just playing ball.

My husband has covered for you, more times than you know. He supports you and has your back at times that you have no idea about.

My husband would not and does not talk badly about you. To anyone.

My husband believes in you more than you believe in yourself.

Dear player,
I hope you coach someday and you look back and remember all of the time, sweat, and tears that have been invested in you. I hope you call your coach and tell him how much you love him. I hope you invest in and love your players, so they can call you and thank you for your humility.

So why do I think that coaching is more than just a job? Because most jobs are done using your head, but coaching requires a lot more of the heart. 

Love, Mrs. Coach

This blog post was written by my wife, Julie.  I am truly humbled and honored to be a coach and I'm thankful for all of the opportunities that God gives us as coaches to impact lives.  The true definition of a coach starts and ends with their heart.  Thank you, coaches, for all you do!

Hold Me Accountable, Please.

When coaches and players talk about accountability, it is far too often done for the wrong reasons and wrapped up in rules and regulations.  The most common way to hold someone accountable is to throw a rule book or a policy at them with no thought as to how that will influence someone's life.  People, especially college student-athletes, are hungry for mentoring and accountability, but there are too few authentic leaders helping them. This is a problem.

If we truly want to hold others accountable and influence their growth, we need to do it out of love and sincere relationship building.  We need to spend time understanding those around us and commit to holding ourselves accountable first.  Best selling author, Jon Gordon, recently tweeted some great content related to accountability as seen below:

I think that Jon Gordon has this idea of accountability spot on!  Instead of talking about your program culture and its rules, try to lead with relationships, love, and the pursuit of excellence and true accountability will naturally flow from this type of leadership.  When we commit to this, our players and those we work with will begin to see our heart and want to give their best for you and the program!