Motivational speaker and former NFL football star Mike McCoy visited Chaminade Julienne Tuesday, Oct. 26, to discuss with students the importance of making good decisions on the path to success in life during a school-wide presentation in the auditorium.
Mr. McCoy is a Pennsylvania native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he played defensive tackle for the Fighting Irish, earning consensus All-American honors his senior year before being selected with the second overall pick in the 1970 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. After playing 11 seasons with three pro teams, the former lineman founded the organization Mike McCoy Ministries to help mentor students through public speaking engagements hosted in Catholic schools across the country.
“Our overall theme is how to be a champion today; not yesterday, not tomorrow, but what do you do today to influence change in your life,” McCoy said before speaking in front of all classes Tuesday morning. Emphasizing that theme, he encouraged students to choose friends wisely and avoid “landmines in the field of life” such as sex, alcohol, and drugs.
“If you’re going to be a champion it has got to start with a decision inside your heart, and it is hard to change behavior unless your heart is changed,” he added. McCoy battled with destructive behavior himself during his career until a teammate intervened with faith, allowing him to change his lifestyle by developing a personal relationship with Christ.
Today, he urges students to grow spiritually and become leaders by sharing personal stories and delivering a message of hope and encouragement rooted in the teachings of the Lord. McCoy said what inspires him most to speak with young people is having the chance to share and expound upon the words of Pope John Paul II, “Do not fear. Open your heart to Christ.”