February 10, 2021

God Is Not Done With the Coach

Would anyone guess that legendary Cedarville University basketball coach Don Callan, for whom Callan Athletic Center is named, was named to his alma mater’s athletic hall of fame for . . . football?

Or that he came to Cedarville — think about this for a second — 60 years ago. He told then-president Dr. James T. Jeremiah he was here to stay, and Don has been true to his word.

Or that Don started the Mission Involvement Service, taking all kinds of athletes around the world to play sports and share the Gospel. He led 35 trips to the Philippines and at least 10 to Europe. 

After a successful coaching career, leading the men’s basketball team to 578 victories over 35 years, and serving the University as athletic director from 1961 to 1997, he retired, but that doesn’t mean he slowed down. He has continued to minister in many, many ways with athletes, senior citizens, and anyone who will give him the time of day. 

After losing his wife of 64 years, Nedra, just a couple weeks after his 88th birthday in 2020, and then surviving a terrible bout with COVID near the end of the year, Don was ready to join his bride in eternity. But the Lord had other plans for Coach.

“When Nedra died and went to heaven, I said, ‘Nedra’s in heaven; I want to go to heaven,’” he shares during the podcast. “God started working in my heart and life that I needed to know Him better. But how do you do that? I started reading His Word and applying it. Special people sent me books. And all of the sudden, I found out God is interested in me for me. He wants me to be His servant, and He has something for me to do.”

The Callan Athletic Center, named after the Coach, is slated for expansion as part of the Campus Master Plan.

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