The Indianapolis Colts achieved a statement victory on Sunday over the highly touted Buffalo Bills, who had been favored by 7 points. In the immediate aftermath of the win, head coach Frank Reich remembered who helped him and the team reach that point.
“Some people know our team has been using the metaphor of climbing Mt. Everest to parallel our quest to make it to the top,” he said after the game. “And it doesn’t take long to figure out that this metaphor doesn’t merely apply to football.
“Rather, it can be a picture of the many challenges that we all face, right? We all face mountains that we’re trying to climb.”
This guy knows how to seize his moments. Pastors should learn from coaches. pic.twitter.com/UgfOcnFBJ0
— Jimmy Scroggins (@JimmyScroggins) November 22, 2021
As Reich continued, he made it clear that his speech was about more than just an impressive Colts victory. It was a chance for him to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
According to The Buffalo News, Reich recited the lyrics to the song “In Christ Alone” as a player for the Bills after their 1993 playoff comeback victory over the Houston Oilers. That 32-point comeback remains the largest come-from-behind victory in NFL history.
Nearly three decades later after another big win, Reich saw the opportunity to share his faith once again.
“The reason I’m doing that here and now is because almost 30 years ago after a really big game right down the hall in a press conference I shared the lyrics to a song that meant a lot to me,” Reich said.
“It really spoke to where I get my strength from. The song is ‘In Christ Alone,’ and it’s written by Shawn Craig. … It might encourage someone who’s climbing their own mountain right now.”
Reich went on to recite the lyrics of the chorus, which read, “In Christ alone I place my trust, and I find my glory in the power of the cross. In every victory, let it be said of me that my source of strength and my source of hope is Christ alone.”
He said his personal favorite line came from the song’s second verse and says, “I seek no greater honor than just to know him more.”
Instead of using the Colts’ biggest win of the season to heap praise on himself and his leadership, he turned the praise back over to the Lord.
“Even though it was almost 30 years ago when I read those words here in this stadium, this week I was reminded Hebrews 13:8 says, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.'”
Reich is no stranger to sharing his faith. After his playing career ended in 1998, he became more involved at Reformed Theological Seminary, according to The Gospel Coalition.
He was eventually named the president of RTS’ Charlotte, North Carolina, campus, a position he held for three years. After that, he said he came to the realization that he was called to be “more of a teacher and coach” than an administrator.
He briefly served as a pastor, but he told TGC he did not feel like that was his calling, either. So he went back to the game that he knew so well.
“If pastoring isn’t what I’m called to do, and it’s not an accident that God has given me a career in football, then I guess I should make an impact in that arena in whatever way I can,” he said.
Starting a coaching career at 45 is no easy task. According to TGC, Reich had to kickstart his coaching career as a lowly intern with the Colts.
But Reich’s natural talent began to shine through and led to a promotion to offensive coaching staff assistant. He then became the quarterbacks coach, during which time he coached NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Reich served in assistant coaching roles in Arizona, San Diego and Philadelphia. He was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl in 2018.
That success led Reich back to Indianapolis, where he made his head coaching debut for the Colts in 2018. As he tries to win another Super Bowl as a head coach this time, he still has not lost sight of the One who gives us strength.
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