Within the last few weeks, one of our true friends, Coaches of Influence Board member, and best described by many as a “coaches coach”, went home to be with his Savior, Jesus. Dave is pictured top right at the 2010 COIN banquet alongside longtime friend, Greg Pappas, and Bobby Bowden and his wife.
To remember Dave, we asked some of our coaches to write a few words…
Dave Radford is not gone … he’s just not here and those who put their trust in Jesus will see him again …… FOREVER. I invite you to look at the various comments that follow of those he coached, mentored, and befriended. May you and I aspire to have so great an INFLUENCE for the Kingdom of Christ. Dave was my good friend and humble mentor.
– Nelson Cook
Dave Radford was the epitome of “A Coach of Influence”. He was my Teacher, my Coach, my Mentor, my Friend, my Brother in Christ. God used Dave’s life in all of these ways to guide me in my journey as a Husband, Father, Teacher, Coach, and Brother in Christ. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Dave’s legacy continues to live through me.
– Tony Peralta
Coach always humbled himself with others. If you had been graced by God to speak with him, you always left the conversation feeling special and important. He made us all feel that during his time with us. He wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else. Paul, in I Corinthians makes it clear that love is action. Coach proved his love of God and of us with his actions every single moment of every single day.
– Kirk Diego
For me, Dave was an important Christian mentor at the most crucial time of my walk with Christ, which was right after I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Dave was drawn to people he could encourage whether they were believers or not. He had a very UNIQUE sense of humor. Dave was an individual who made you feel important and valued. I miss being around Dave Radford.
– Dan Peters
Dave was the brightest person I know. So knowledgeable about history, sports, and the Word of God. I will miss our conversations because he always came at things in such an interesting and different way. Heaven has received a great addition.
– Chuck McFerrin
Words cannot describe how much Dave Radford meant to me and my family. We were honored to have him in our lives. Dave had his hand in both my personal and professional life. His mentorship will have a lifelong legacy in my teaching/coaching career. Personally, the Radford family, have played such a meaningful role in my marriage and family. Denise and I were blessed to share pre-marriage counseling with Dave and Eva, followed by Dave officiating our marriage. What an honor! Dave then shared his Parkcrest family with us, which helped foster our Christian home and marriage. Dave Radford and the Radford family will forever be in our heart. We will always love them.
– Jeff and Denise Hodges
I first met Dave Radford in the Spring of 1980 when I was student teaching at Millikan High School. At that time, I was still competing at a high level in track and field; specifically, the High Jump. The coaches at Millikan would get together at lunch to play basketball in the gym, Dave being one of them. At that time, Dave, being older, could not jump very high as where I could. After grabbing a rebound, I came down on Dave’s foot. Needless to say, I sprained my ankle of which I would never fully recover, bringing an end to my track career. Fifteen years later, attending Parkcrest Christian Church, I had become a Christian and was ready to get baptized. I requested Dave to baptize me. While in the tank, Dave spoke to the church for a good three minutes on how wonderful it is to be baptized and the reason for it. Dave always took advantage of a teachable moment. So, the way I see it, Dave Radford was responsible for ending one chapter of my life and opening another.
– Steve La Rusch
Dave would sometimes challenge, but always support anyone he came in contact with. He was a teaching/coaching colleague at Millikan High School when I was a young teacher/coach in the early 80’s. He was our Associate Athletic Director at Hope International University when I served as Athletic Director through 2009. I feel blessed to have had him in my life for over 33 years. Dave, thanks for making us all better on and off God’s playing field.
– Greg Pappas
Dave Radford and I have been friends for close to 50 years. We were assistant coaches in our respective sports at Long Beach Poly High School in the early years. I recall one day while the two of us were sitting in the teachers’ lounge wondering if we would ever become head coaches in the LBUSD? Well, over the years that question was answered in a big way. We both did. Dave’s impact on the players he coached, and the many colleagues he worked with was beyond measure. He checked off all the boxes of a true “Servant Leader”.
The Reverend Billy Graham stated, “A COACH” will influence more people in one year than an average person will in a lifetime.” Those that Dave influenced would fill a stadium. He leaves a legacy that includes; love of God, love of family/friends and love of football.
– Tim Sweeney