April 22, 2010
Notre Dame, Ind. – Click Here to see photos of McCoy speaking at Holy Cross School.
Three-time Monogram winner Mike McCoy ’70 brought his talents on the gridiron to the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1966 to play football for legendary football coach Ara Parseghian. After a successful career with the Irish, where he earned consensus All-America honors, McCoy went on to be selected second overall in the 1970 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. Following an 11-year career in the NFL, he moved back to his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania to became a small business owner.
Despite his success on the gridiron and in business, McCoy had yet to find his true calling in life.
“Five years after retiring from the NFL, my seventh grade daughter began to tell me about all the pressures and temptations she was facing in school,” McCoy said. “Around that time, a friend of mine was putting together an organization to take former professional athletes around the country to speak at schools and serve as positive role models.”
After speaking with his friend, he began to reflect back on his life and all the great opportunities God had given to him. During that time he had an epiphany to help young people in need, so he decided to take a leap of faith and a pay cut to join his friend in speaking and reaching out to young people.
His desire to help others may not have been possible if not for the lessons he learned while attending Notre Dame.
“The strong faith based leadership at Notre Dame really laid the groundwork for me to do what I am doing today,” McCoy said. “My time there really helped me make the decision to giveback to others based on my faith.”
Over the last 20 years, McCoy has spoken around the world, from schools in Scotland to prisons in South Africa. This week he returned to South Bend to visit six local Catholic schools. On Tuesday morning he spoke to nearly 100 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students from Holy Cross School.
Following each gathering, McCoy asks every person in attendance to provide feedback from the assembly and presses in regarding the challenges these young adolescents are facing in life. Despite not having a personal relationship with the students, many feel comfortable expressing themselves on the feedback cards.
“A lot of students open up to me on these feedback cards about a lot of serious subjects including depression, drug and alcohol abuse and other problems they are dealing with at home,” McCoy said. “I can take this feedback to help kids in tough situations to get the guidance and trained help they need.”
“I put my faith into knowing we can help these kids,” McCoy said. “Often times I will hear back from the principals of these students telling me that I was the reason their students got the help they needed.”
For school administrators, having the chance for someone with McCoy’s pedigree to come speak to their students is an opportunity they feel blessed to have.
“I think our kids need guys like Mike McCoy to come speak to them,” said Angela Budzinski, principal of Holy Cross School. “So many kids today try to emulate professional athletes yet often times we only hear about the negative aspects about them. By having a successful professional athlete like Mike visiting with an uplifting message I believe it will have a great impact on our students.”
To learn more about Mike McCoy Ministries, visit www.mccoy77.com