The COIN Midwest Representative is Bob Parsons, who interviewed with Nelson Cook in December of 2015 and then came on staff in March of 2016. Bob says, “COIN is helping coaches spiritually, personally and professionally in my area of the country.” One coach emailed Bob back and said, “Thank you for your work, dedication and kindness of sharing (the daily email devotions). They’re always relevant to our busy lives of coaching and raising our children.”
Bob co-authored a book about the winningest coach in the history of South Dakota high school basketball, Larry Luitjens. Bob was a developmental coach in Larry’s program for 25 years. The other co-author is Larry’s only son, Lance. The book chronicles Coach Luitjens’ life. You’ll read about his seven state titles, and he himself will offer several pointers you can implement within any sport. The book, however, is about so much more than wins and losses and championships. The authors use Larry’s 47 years of coaching as lessons. Each season has a character lesson and a summary. These lessons can be used individually as a coach or a player; or as a basis for a team talk; or as a discussion for a COACHES FELLOWSHIP. The lessons incorporate scriptures with the physical, mental, social and spiritual challenges of sport and life. Coach Luitjens’ positive winning attitude was contagious, and by the time you finish reading, you are certain to be infected as well. The hope is that you will understand no matter what you do for an occupation, you too can be a COACH OF INFLUENCE! This book is available free of charge to coaches. Email: to request your FREE BOOK today.
One coach said, “I remember when Coach Luitjens moved to Custer, SD, and put their basketball program on the map! This book is a good read, and I believe is a must have for any coach’s collection!”
A COACHES FELLOWSHIP is a regular meeting of a small group of coaches (2 to 8 people). Usually there’s a topic of discussion like a book study, then a time to share concerns and victories, to connect with and encourage each other, and to pray for one other. It’s ideal to have a volunteer (a retired coach, or a pastor, or someone from a church with a passion for sports and a heart for coaches) to be the leader and the facilitator of the meeting. It’s usually best to meet before school for 30 – 45 minutes weekly or biweekly. The meeting can be face to face in a coach’s office or classroom, or it can be by ZOOM meeting (pictured above). Let us know if we can help you start a COACHES FELLOWSHIP.
TESTIMONY:   One of Coach Luitjens’ assistant coaches said, “It was during my second year working with Larry that the most defining moment of my life took place. It was late January of 1996 and we had lost another very close game. Larry looked at me and said, ‘We need to start a Bible Study (COACHES FELLOWSHIP).’ It was the last thing I expected to hear from him, but it was so true! Our god had become basketball and failure to win games was having a negative effect on us. That next Sunday evening we had a Bible Study in Larry’s home led by volunteers from his church. This became a weekly commitment and soon my family and I were attending the Living Outreach Church in Custer, SD. In late March at a service at this church, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. Jesus became my Savior and Lord. Larry led me to the Lord and basketball took its rightful place as an opportunity to share the Love of God with others.”
Coach Luitjens used the CHARACTER MATTERS curriculum during his last season of coaching, his 47th season! Wade Salem is the Founder and President of Character Matters. He comes from a coaching family and has worked over two decades with hundreds of coaches and teams at every level. From playing, coaching and consulting, Wade brings a unique insight and clarity into coaching character. He’s an exceptional leader, speaker and author of character curriculums. The curriculum gives the coach a Game Plan to execute a Theme of the Week for the season. It fits into the schedule and is easily implemented. It empowers the coach to clearly communicate character qualities needed for success. It helps establish and strengthen the character culture of the team. The three ring binder includes a full color poster to promote; a power point to present; flyer to show; handouts to share; evaluations to review; and certificates to reward.
The Sturgis football coach, Chris Koletzky, has been using the Character Matters curriculum with his team for several years. He is pictured left with his college football coach, Bob Young. Coach Young is a retired Hall of Fame coach. He said, “I wish there would have been a Character Matters when I coached. I am so proud of Chris and the coach he has become!”
They both participated in the annual COIN Golf Tournament at Rapid City Meadowbrook Golf Course on August 5, 2022.
Coach Koletzky also uses the curriculum to connect the community to his team. Pictured below left is Greg Harrington, a veteran and retired law enforcement, talking to the team about Transcend. Different community members (business, professional, clergy) present the weekly THEME to the team. Below right is Coach Koletzky presenting the Unbreakable Player of the Week Award to Gunner Rohloff.
In 2016, Coach Koletzky called a timeout late in a game and talked to his team (his team is in white). Watch what happens…
The COIN Midwest Office sends out a daily email devotional Monday through Friday early in the morning. Many coaches and administrators start their day by reading it first before doing anything else. One coach said, “Thanks again for starting my morning with an inspiration.”
Below is a link to a devo written about Coach Koletzky’s timeout video. If you like to be on the list, let us know.
God Bless You and Go M.A.D. (Make A Difference)!