Coaches can be like father or mother figures in a player’s life. Although their main priority is to train and teach their team how to become better athletes, they can also provide guidance, positive influences, and emotional security for young players who look up to them.
Take Doug Provenzano, for instance. His Facebook page is filled with posts and updates about “a great group of young men.”
The all-boy Red Army football league, located in Litchfield Park, Arizona, seems to be a special part of Provenzano’s life. The team itself was made as part of an organization — West Valley Army Youth Football — for young boys and teenagers who are interested in pursuing the sport in school.
Provenzano his lived up to the “pride” part in his work as a football coach. A Facebook message posted to his wall on May 24 was also shared with California reporter, Frank Somerville.
Both posts went absolutely viral because of the heartfelt story and photos Provenzano decided to share with the rest of the world. In his message, the coach spoke of a particular player, named Marquise, who has made an impact in his life ever since they met five years ago.
The player recently graduated from middle school to high school, and Provenzano was there to witness the ceremony. His post shared a snippet of their special bond.
Provenzano responded, “Son I teach a lot more then just how to play football.” The boy’s interest then led the coach to ask where his parents were, to help him get started with joining the league.
Marquise informed Provenzano that his mother had passed away, and his father was no longer in his life, but his auntie was now taking good care of him as his guardian. After hearing this child’s story, it moved the coach to take care of Marquise in every way possible.
But, it wasn’t until God told him three special words that Provenzano really felt driven to be a father figure to Marquise. “God said to me ‘be a Shepard,’” he wrote.
“I reflected on the 4 national titles and all the state championships we won together,” Provenzano continued. “But I reflected most on how Jesus dropped him into my life like a stork from the sky and how far he has come since that day.”
It was a tear-jerker for one commenter. Her words practically summed up what most of us must be feeling after reading this precious story.
“You rock coach/God sent father figure,” the person wrote. “You are such a blessing to this young man and [probably] a lot of other children now and to come. Thank you Lord Jesus for sending your Angel to earth for this young man.”
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