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Winners and Losers – Scoreboard

True SuccessWho Said It…Victor Santa Cruz

This son of a U.S. marine played linebacker for the University of Hawaii Warriors, then went into sales with a sport supply company. “My heart was always in coaching, but I thought coming out of college you needed to make money to be a success. I fell into that trap.”

Victor says his wife, Jamie, “saw how miserable I was,” and urged him to take up coaching. He did—and was named head coach of Azusa Pacific University’s Cougars in December 2005.

What He Said…Scoreboard

The scoreboard is a clear-cut way to determine playoff selections, but a dangerous barometer for measuring personal worth.

Feeling down after a losing season, I sought out a coaching mentor to discuss my disappointment. He asked if I knew his win-loss record from the past season. I apologized that I hadn’t followed his season. To my surprise, he informed me of his 11-1 record and a junior college bowl championship! He then asked if I cared about him, since I hadn’t followed his team’s record during the past season.

“I certainly do!” I responded. My respect for him was based on who he was as a person, not his football success.

“Then why are you in a funk because of last year’s losing season?” he asked.

The rewards of a winning record can be taken away by one “bad” year. But true success—an intimate relationship with God through Jesus—can never be taken away, because of the cross. We all are successful if we’re in Christ!

Adapted from Heart of a Coach (Revell, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, move me beyond the world’s definition of failure and success to the only one that counts—Your definition.



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