Christian Athletes honor coaches in Struthers

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Steel Valley recognized the March “Coach of the Month” with co-award winners John Grandy and Rob Gelonese, who have helped power Struthers FCA for decades.

Retired Coach John Grandy has done it all, coaching from intramurals to multiple league and district championship in girls basketball, mentoring and caring for his players in football, girls and boys basketball, baseball, and cross country.

He has served as a certified basketball official for eight years.

Grandy said “there’s a difference between being a coach who is a Christian vs. a Christian coach. The difference is a Christian coach lives it in everything one says and does. They walk the walk, spread the word of the Bible, are Christlike, and make disciples. It’s not about you or your glory through wins and losses. You are to transform others through Jesus. You must decrease,

and Jesus must increase.”

Grandy said once he became a Christian, his coaching focused in and through Jesus’ life-giving principles of sacrifice, personal empowerment, unity, and most important, love and truth.

Rob Gelonese is recognized as another dedicated coach and man of faith with many hours dedicated to coaching and FCA.

From 1981 to 2004, his coaching career impacted lives from the junior high to collegiate level in football at places like Struthers, Naples and Miami, Fla.; and at Malone and Youngstown State universities.

Gelonoese credits an FCA Chapel before a Struthers football game as the moment he dedicated his life to Jesus.

His FCA roles are as follows: 1985 to 1988, FCA chaplain for Struthers High sports teams; 1990 to 1994. FCA director at Barron Collier High School in Naples; 2017 to today, FCA director at Struthers Middle School averaging over 100 students per meeting.

He said those FCA meetings reached over 70 percent of the students with the gospel message the last three years straight. They also took 110 students to FCA Power Camp in 2017 and 23 and 52 students to FCA Leadership Camp in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Earlier this year, the FCA Steel Valley announced Don James will become the new Steel Valley director. He has been involved in FCA for almost two years and has been the Trumbull County representative.

James brings over 30 years of management experience and most importantly felt called by God to step into this role. Martin Dunham previously served in this role and decided to be an FCA representative, working Mahoning County including YSU.

Bob Kimpel will continue to handle Columbiana, Jefferson, and part of Mahoning counties. James will continue to cover Trumbull County until a representative is hired.

“FCA Steel Valley has a long history with FCA and a bright future. Don James serving as the FCA Steel Valley director is both exciting and catalytic to that bright future being realized. Don brings a tremendous heart for the LORD and the FCA mission, and seasoned professional leadership experience that serves FCA well.” said Robert Kilo, FCA Northeast Ohio Director.

Visit neohiofca.org/steel

•valley-area for more



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