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Faith, friends, football: Dad says UT quarterback McCoy, teammates put God first

The roster of the defending national champion University of Texas Longhorns reads a lot like the college ministry roll at the nearby University Avenue church in Austin. No. 96 Lokey, Derek No. 12 McCoy, Colt No. 8 Shipley, Jordan For those who need a program to keep up, those would be, in order, the 2006 squad’s starting defensive tackle, quarterback and wide receiver. When the No. 2 Longhorns take on the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, plenty of attention will be focused on McCoy, a redshirt freshman making just his second collegiate start. Ohio State fan Nolan Rutter, minister at the Clinton, Mo., church, said he’ll pray that McCoy and his teammates are spared injury, but not a regular season loss. Ohio State 35, Texas 30 is his final score prediction. Brad McCoy, naturally, is predicting a Longhorn win. He said his son is approaching the game with a strong faith in God, reliance on prayer and on his teammates, especially those who are also his brothers in Christ. “The decisions he had made through his life, all the sacrifices to become a great football player, most of those are Christian sacrifices, too,” said Brad McCoy, a member of the Eastside church in Graham, Texas. “Socially, he was always making sure he was a strong, Christian influence on others.”
His son has always taken care of himself physically and spiritually and has talked with others at Fellowship of Christian Athletes events and at Camp Blue Haven in New Mexico about doing the same, Brad McCoy said.
“God has blessed him with tremendous athletic ability, and he has always done his best to give God the glory for that,” he said of Colt, who was baptized at 13 by his grandfather. “We feel like God is blessing him and our family now.”
This isn’t the first time the Shipley and McCoy names have shared space on a team roster, yet the ties between these families go deeper than this football season: Brad McCoy and Jordan Shipley’s father, Bob Shipley, were roommates and teammates at Abilene Christian University.
The two older men kept their friendship alive while coaching high school football in towns across Texas. Colt and Jordan’s friendship formed when they were in fifth and sixth grade, respectively. Brad McCoy was coaching in Hamlin, Bob Shipley in Rotan.
Both boys quickly found that they shared similar interests. Church, of course. Good grades. Also hunting and fishing. And football, always football.
“We never dreamed history would repeat itself, though,” Brad McCoy said, laughing. “Bob was a running back and I was a receiver – totally different than our kids.”
Jordan Shipley graduated from Burnet High School, setting all sorts of state records for catches, yards and touchdowns. Colt McCoy followed a year later, posting a 34-2 record as a starter for Jim Ned High School in Tuscola.
When they’re able, Jordan Shipley and Colt McCoy like to visit the Burnett, Texas, church, where Shipley’s grandfather preaches. The family patriarch, Richard Felts, also played for the Wildcats.
Still, that doesn’t mean any of the families’ experiences prepared them for the hype that goes with wearing the burnt orange uniform or flashing the “Hook ‘em Horns” sign. Maybe deep down, they thought the next generations would be Wildcats, too.
“His mom and I, there was a nervousness about him going to Austin,” Brad McCoy said. “It’s a liberal place. We prayed there’d be something there for him to anchor his faith.
“To have Jordan there at the same time, we know he has that.”
Photo captions: Top, Colt McCoy; Bottom, Jordan Shipley. (Photos courtesy of the University of Texas Sports Photography Department)
Sept. 8, 2006

  • Feedback
    Hey Brad, sure am proud of Colt, congratulations to both of you on his phenomenal accomplishments, on and off of the field…God bless
    Eric Fitts
    3rd and Central Church of Christ
    Hobbs, NM
    February, 1 2010

Filed under: People Staff Reports

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